Day 95: Game Night Continued


Pandemic and Ticket to Ride

I’m considering changing my 2015 Goals list to include “Play 10 New Games.” I’ve bought and played four new games in two months, so I’m nearly halfway there and I have more than enough on my Amazon Wish List to make this a reality. While my stepdaughter was back for spring break, she really got into Pandemic, which happens to be my favorite game of the new bunch. My wife is slowly getting into it as well and we managed to win on Heroic Level this morning.

Running a close second is Ticket to Ride, which is my favorite for a family experience. Everybody has a great time playing this and, as I’ve read in several articles, it is a great “gateway” game to bring in new players to the hobby. I love that my niece and nephew enjoyed it so much that they immediately wanted to play after their first game.

The other two games I bought were fun as well: Tsuro and Castle Panic. Tsuro is quick and light; easy to learn and a perfect “warm-up” game. It was fun with my youngest niece, who learned quickly and nearly won in her one attempt. As for Castle Panic, I believe my nephew and I were the only ones who took to this one. When we played with his sister he was our designated sound-effects guy, eagerly providing the soundtrack for each goblin, orc, and troll that we slayed.

I’ve loved every second of our game nights. It’s much more satisfying bonding over board games than video games or television shows. Even the good-humored trash talk has been great; I’ve learned that my wife is quite skilled at the art, as she regularly reminds me who owns the longest win streak (7 straight) in our Ticket to Ride matches. Hint: it’s not me.

Day 88: Game Night

imageWe introduced my niece and nephew to three new games today: Tsuro, Castle Panic, and Ticket to Ride. My wife and I were impressed with how quickly they picked up each game. We started the session with several games of Tsuro. It was the perfect way to get things rolling, since it only takes one or two turns to learn how to play and the game itself only lasts 10-15 minutes.

Next up was everyone’s favorite of the night, Ticket to Ride, which won over both my niece and nephew just as it had won over me, my wife, and stepdaughter. After the first game, everyone immediately wanted to play again, which is all you need to know to understand its popularity. It’s a fantastic family game and deserves all of its praise and accolades.

Finally, Castle Panic was a hoot, as my nephew was in charge of the sound effects for slaying each goblin, orc, and troll. He was the biggest fan of this one, more so than my niece and wife, and he quickly grasped the rules and strategy. We cheered when the Barbarian was picked up and won both games we played. High fives were given and promises were made to play again.

Day 87: Castle Panic


Yesterday I talked about Tsuro, one of two board games that I bought recently. The other was Castle Panic, a cooperative game that’s on the easy side of the learning scale, with a fun theme; I mean, who doesn’t like to slay trolls, goblins, and orcs? You and your partners are defending the castle against wave after wave of monsters. Each monster has 1-3 hit points and you use the cards to take away those points. Other challenges face you, including a Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark rolling boulder that crushes everything in its path, plagues that thin out your ranks, Orc Lords leading the charge on the castle, and many more.

Over the past few nights, I’ve managed to go 3-1 in solo play. It’s definitely on the easier side of the difficulty scale, which is exactly what I wanted as I was stocking up on games for my niece and nephew’s visit. I hope they enjoy it as much as I do. I’ve already added the Wizard’s Tower expansion to my Amazon wish list.

Here’s the always entertaining Wil Wheaton and his Tabletop episode on Castle Panic:


Day 86: 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.