Welborn Family Gaming

Welcome to Larry and Melissa's blog. We focus on two player gaming and gaming with our two children, ages 11 & 13. This blog will feature random musings, gaming reports and reviews from both of us. We will also post some non-gaming thoughts from time to time. Feel free to join in the discussions.

Archive for Larry Welborn

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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 31 -- Bohnanza

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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New Year's Eve saw the Welborn family hanging out at home, eating goodies, watching football, and playing games. While looking at my record of challenge games, I was surprised to find that Bohnanza had never been a challenge game. At least until now.



This is the 14th recorded play of a game I rate as an 8.

Years in Challenge: 2014.

This is a game that has gotten much better to play with the kids over the last year or so, as they finally understand that the game has a cutthroat element to it. As such, we are having much more fun now with the game.

Everyone bought a third bean field during the first deck. I was able to score good points with some of the rarer beans while Melissa and Daughter went for the more popular ones. Son sort of staked out the middle value beans.

Later on, I shifted to some more popular beans but was trying to harvest quickly, for less than maximum points to keep churning my fields. With three fields I was able to leave one field slowly percolating for maximum points.

Daughter started very slow as she had to harvest some fields prematurely. She finally got rolling along well in the last two decks and climbed back into the game. Melissa appeared to be my closest competitor but she had to harvest one field that she did not want to, which really hurt her.

Final Scores: Larry 23, Melissa 19, Son 17, Daughter 15.


Thus we bring the 4th annual gaming challenge to a successful conclusion. It was fun as always, even when we didn't necessarily have enough time to play a game.
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Thu Jan 1, 2015 5:55 am
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 30 -- Diamant

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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I got back from my trip last evening, just in time to play a game with the family. We had to bring out this last remaining unplayed standard: Diamant.



This is the 44th playing of a game I rate as a 10.

Years in Challenge: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

The first expedition saw only Son escape with any jewels as the rest of us were forced out of the mine by noxious green gas.

The second expedition proved to be a disaster for everyone, as no one collected any gems.

The third round saw me leave first, which proved to be the winning move, as no one else escaped with any jewels.

The last two rounds saw me sitting with a comfortable lead and I just played so no one could catch me. The game ended up somewhat anti-climatic as a result.

Final Scores: Larry 43, Son 23, Melissa 17, Daughter 8.

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Thu Jan 1, 2015 5:33 am
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 29 -- Uno

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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Ok, I missed this game as I was in Orlando Florida watching my Clemson Tigers beat the Oklahoma Sooners 40-6. Go Tigers! Fortunately for the challenge, the kids carried the banner tonight. They were spending the night with my cousin and they decided to play UNO.



Years in Challenge: 2014.

I have no information of the number of hands played or any other details other than the score. I do know that both kids and my cousin had a very good time playing that evening, which is sort of the point of the challenge.

Final Scores: Cousin Barbara 9, Son 23, Daughter 63.

Thanks to the kids for keeping the challenge going.
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Thu Jan 1, 2015 12:25 am
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 27 -- Zooleretto

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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First time in a while that we had time to play more than one game. We got in several playings of our new game Machi Koro, but our challenge games was a regular: Zooloretto.




This is the 15th play of a game I rate as an 8.

Years in Challenge: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

Our games tend to result in three players scoring very close to each other and one player really off the pace and this game proved no exception. For whatever reason, Melissa was cash poor for most of the game and had real trouble expanding her zoo and moving animals around to maximize points. The rest of us were relatively flush with money.

As we entered the final round, it was clear that it would be a close game. I didn't not see a way to improve my score with additional items so I grabbed a truck with a single stall at my first opportunity. Everyone else waited for a full truck, which I think hurt them. But did it hurt them enough? Ultimately it did not as I finished a close third, just behind Daughter, who was behind Son.

Final Scores: Son 31, Daughter 29, Larry 28, Melissa 18.


Son and Daughter have both won several games during this years challenge and it is fun to watch how much they are improving at games.
Makes losing much more tolerable. As an aside, my daughter (age 11) recently got the chance to play Qwirkle with a high school student, a college student and an adult. She wiped the floor with them.
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Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:30 am
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 26 -- TransAmerica

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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TransAmerica has been in the challenge every year, and this year would not be an exception as I feel this type of game really represents the challenge.



This is the 27th play of a game I rate as a 7.

Years in Challenge: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

This simple track laying game has just enough strategy in it to keep it from being a luckfest, although you can get hosed in a round with the wrong starting cities. The only modification to the rules that we use is to not move the end line after the second round. The game is quick enough as it is to play it out.

Tonight's game was the most thorough domination I have ever seen in this game. In the first round, Daughter won but everyone else was within one or two tracks of winning. The same thing happened in round 2. Round 3 saw both Son and Melissa finish further away although I was again only one double track from winning. The same pattern continued until Son run out of points and crossed the barrier, triggering the end of the game.

Daughter won every single round. I have never seen that happen.

Final Scores: Daughter (Still in engine house), Larry 6, Melissa 3, Son 0.
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Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:03 pm
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 25 -- Machi Koro

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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Merry Christmas. Christmas day is always a good day to try out a new game, so we tried out the only one I received as a gift this year: Machi Koro.



This is the first play of a game I have not rated.

Years in Challenge: 2014.

Although this was a new game to the family, it is super simple to learn and everyone understood how to play in only a few minutes. There is not a huge amount of strategy in the base game (I am aware of the expansion variant that some recommend) but there is enough that everyone wasn't buying the same buildings.

Daughter jumped out to an apparent early lead as she built two landmarks before anyone else had built one. Unfortunately, her engine was not well developed and she basically played mostly one die buildings.

I hit a bad string of dice rolling and fell off the place, leaving Melissa and Son to battle for the win. Son had a good engine going and quickly built his third and fourth landmark for the win.

Fun game but I really want to add the expansion when it arrives in the US.

Winner: Son.
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Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:06 pm
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 24 -- Qwirkle

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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Christmas Eve was a busy day as we celebrated Christmas with Melissa's mom and immediate family. But we still had time that evening for a game, and we picked a regular to the challenge: Qwirkle.



This is the 31st playing of a game I rate as a 9.

Years in Challenge: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

This game was a bit odd as we had many more Qwirkles than normal but also many 3 and 4 point plays. The end result was a winning score slightly below average.

The game quickly developed into a 3 person race, as I fell off the pace and ended up with my worst score ever. The others traded the lead back and forth and ultimately the final ranking correlated perfectly with the number of Qwirkles each person had.

Final Scores: Melissa 116 (5), Son 105 (4), Daughter 99 (3), Larry 80 (2).
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Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:58 pm
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 23 -- Tiki Topple

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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Tiki Topple fell out of the challenge for the first time last year, but it jumped back in this year.



This is the 18th play of a game I rate as a 7.

Years in Challenge: 2014, 2012, 2011.

We decided to play 4 rounds, changing the start player each time. Tonight's play was pretty vicious as it was very difficult to move up one of your own tiki pieces without watching it promptly get killed. Fortunately, sometimes more than one person had the same tiki so they could work to protect them. Unfortunately, I seldom was in that position and languished in last place from the start. Daughter jumped into the lead after the first round and held on for a wire to wire win.

Final Scores: Daughter 25, Son 18, Melissa 16, Larry 14.
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Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:14 am
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 22 -- Take It Easy!

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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Take it Easy! is a game that Daughter and I really like and Son and Melissa do not. This time father and daughter won out.



This is the 21st play of a game I rate as an 8.

Years in Challenge: 2014, 2011.


Daughter really likes to be the caller so we let her do it. As usual, I tried to set up the 9s in the vertical 5 column and the 8s in the sloping 5 column. I didn't pay attention to what anyone else was doing. Not many 9s were drawn in the game and it was only with the last 3 tiles that the column was competed, with the 8s being finished on the penultimate tile. Those two columns carried me to victory.

Final Scores: Larry 201, Daughter 185, Son 159, Melissa 83.

I guess this is why Daughter and I like the game more than Son and Melissa.
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Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:13 am
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4th Annual December Gaming Challenge -- Day 21 -- Dominion

Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
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Sunday was another big day. We celebrated Christmas with my Dad's side of the family during the day and then the kids had a church activity that ran until 10:30 p.m. That left it to me and Melissa to keep the challenge going. We went to our most played 2 player game: Dominion.



This is the 248th play of a game I rate as a 10.

Years in Challenge: 2014, 2012.

Since we had not played in a while we decided to play vanilla Dominion, using only the base set with a randomized selection of cards. We ended up with a game that did not have a lot of extra actions.

I got a 4/3 start and went with Smithy/Silver. Melissa had a 5/2 and went with Moat/Lab. I kept a simple deck, adding only a Lab and a Spy. Melissa tried a Lab/Mine strategy but cluttered her deck with a Library and Militia as well.

My deck ramped up quicker than hers and I was able to buy Provinces a few turns earlier. This proved to be the difference as I grabbed a lead then we bought out the rest of the deck.

Final Score: Larry 33, Melissa 21.
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Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:44 pm
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