Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2.8: Know your Gamer - Gamer OCD

A little late on this post, as work is keeping me rather busy--at least they're feeding me well.  

Got some gaming in this week, playing Puerto Rico, Ingenious, and Agricola with D and Danny.  I managed to walk away with a victory in all three, largely because it was D and Danny's first games of Ingenious and Puerto Rico; still, I only won each game by a very few points.   Agricola was great fun but awful; we all seemed to be doing poorly the entire game, and it was only because of a large number of bonus points I gained at the end (and a large amount of baby-making) that won me the game.  In my opinion Danny did the best, especially considering he only had two family members (and thus only two actions) the entire game. 

I'm still doing a little work in the loft, aka my game room, so hopefully I'll have pictures of that in the near future.

This is our hobby, so it makes sense to take care of one's games; there is also a collecting aspect to the hobby, so one may want to display their games; games are also for playing, so making that easier and more enjoyable is reconcilable.  However, we gamers may sometimes take it a bit too far. 

I don't know where or how this has developed into an aspect of the gaming hobby; perhaps people drawn to gaming are naturally inclined toward categorization and order, just as they must don black t-shirts.  Perhaps it is a behavioral remnant of our long-ago gaming ancestors, who had to have the shiniest pebbles organized in the best woven basket.  Whatever the reason, many a gamer exhibits some form of Gamer OCD.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Being bored isn't safe for me...or my family


Something additional, and strange for this week--I realized this week's post was short, so I figured I'd throw this up here.  No comments about sloppiness, I can do better, but did this in about ten minutes; the enlarged jaw on Danny was intentional.  I almost thought about going bigger.

Jackie and I did play a game of Agricola with D and Danny (our second, their first)--the game was longer than expected, partly because we were trying to remember the rules and partly because the game was new to all of us.  I won by a large margin, but don't doubt that the next game will be closer.  Best moment of the game, about half-way through D looks at the board and her cards, and suddenly shouts out, "I just got the game!"

Looking at this, I'm tempted to do a "good" one, print it at Kinkos and hang it on the wall of our loft.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2.7: Congrats to my sister...

Who won the Ticket to Ride Regional Championship this past weekend.  She was given a gold-plated scoring marker, and will be traveling to The Gathering of Friends in beautiful Columbus, Ohio this April to participate in the National Championships.

Color me jealous.

At my excited declaration that my sister was now invited to the GoF, she initially asked "What's the Gathering of Friends?"--a question that almost resulted in her murder.  I am aware of a number of people that entered the tournament simply for this opportunity.

For those of you who aren't familiar, the Gathering of Friends is a invitation-only convention, attended by less than 500 people.  Many of the regular attendees are industry professionals, be they game designers, publishers, or whatnot.  The event is held by Alan Moon, the designer of the Ticket to Ride series of games--hence why the championships are being held there.  In addition to the general gaming that occurs over the week-plus long event, there are special events, tournaments, a flea market, the opportunity to play game prototypes and games before their official release.  Invitation to this event is sought after; every year a number of people on BGG ask "How do I get invited to the GoF?  PLEEEEEESE!"  However, it's not something you can just ask for, as stated before it is invitation only, though regular attendees can sometimes bring a guest.

Now my sister is training and thankfully has looked into the GoF, and is now excited.  She's been looking online and seen video taken by Rick Thornquist of the 2006 event, and I believe now is beginning to understand the significance of this invitation.

So, once again, congratulations to my sister.  And, if she gets to take a guest, she better take me.  I think Danny (her husband) has something to do that day, and he probably wouldn't enjoy himself there anyway.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2.6: You guessed it, Dexterity Games!

Does anyone out there have children?  I have two daughters, and this week my oldest has decided that she's going to take her naps at the end of the day, and then keep us up until midnight.  The end of the day is when I usually write, so that has caused me a few difficulties--beyond the fact that I've been perpetually tired for the last week.  I'm not complaining, but...okay, I am complaining.  I can't wait until my daughter is a teenager, I really need to keep a log I'll call "What you did," and as she complains about whatever horrible parent-thing I do, I'll allow her to check off one comparable item.  I'm certain I'll still owe her after she's moved out.

As I mentioned in my last post, while I do enjoy many types of games, Speed games and Dexterity games have a special draw for me.  A dexterity game is a game in which play requires some kind of physical manipulation of the pieces.  This can be stacking blocks, flicking pieces, etc.  This can be turn-based, which is what I'd call a pure-dexterity game (such as the mass market classic, Jenga), and can include a more real-time manipulation of the pieces, which we'll call an Action-dexterity game (something along the lines of Foosball would fit in this category).

You might be surprised to hear that a dexterity game was made into an epic war game.  It's a personal favorite of mine, a game of heroes, daring attacks, sabotage, and willing sacrifice for your cause.  A game who's deep theme and elaborate conflict resolution system can be pared down to two sentences. 

Insects.  And Tiddly-winks.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2.5: Simultanous action speed Games

Down to the wire, but it's here and on time.  Not much gaming this week, but I did do a little work in the loft, aka My Game Room.  See if you can guess what next week's topic is.

Also, you may have noticed that the posts include a number, for instance, this post is "2.5".  This simply means this is the 5th post of the second year of this blog, and I hope this serves as a way to keep track of each post.  I'll probably spend a little time in the near future numbering all the old posts as 1.whatever. 

Most games require that players take turns--Player A rolls the dice and moves his pieces, Player B rolls the dice and moves her pieces, Player C, Player D...  The type of games I'll talk about today are Simultaneous action speed games, sometimes simply called "Speed Games" or "Real Time" games.

These function exactly as they sound--all players act at the same time, and attempt to do so quickly.  Many may be familiar with a card game using a standard deck of cards, I learned it as "Speed;" in this game the deck of cards is dealt between two players, and players attempt to get rid of their cards by playing to a common pile, playing numbers in sequence.  This game is frenzied, fast and fun (sorry, that alliteration was unintended), and perhaps best of all it takes only a few minutes to set up and  play--this is a general trend in these types of games.

Interestingly, both games I'm covering today are by the same company, Cheapass Games. A quick note on Cheapass Games--they have an interesting concept for their games, that is, you can get dice, pawns, money, and other stuff that makes a game expensive from your other games.  As such, if you purchase one of their games, you are basically buying rules, cards and a board (printed in black and white on cardstock).  The games are  clever and quite humorous, and usually run $6 or less.  That said, they did have a line of games that were printed in color, as are the two games presented here.