Back in the summer of '89 (I think I can hear a tune to this), I was introduced to a number of standard deck card games. One of these was Rummy. For whatever reason, over the next year, rummy would become one of my favorite of the standard deck card games. The following year was my senior year in high school. Along with a couple of friends, I played a nearly year-long lunchtime game of rummy with scores into the tens of thousands. It was a lot of fun. I wish I still had the score sheets from those days.
Later on that year, another friend taught me the basics of Gin Rummy. For all practical purposes, this was (a style of) rummy for two. It became one of my favorite 2-player card games (along with Pinochle and Cribbage). At some point in time, someone gifted me with Phase 10 though I never really played it much. Toward the end of my college career, one of my regular gaming buddies taught quite a few of us how to play Canasta. It became the hot game for several months with frequent playing when we got together. Since those days, I haven't played nearly as many standard deck games, but I still have a soft spot in my hear for rummy and its siblings.
Aside: It's really neat to be able to add all of these links to standard deck card games in the database. Year's ago, you couldn't do this because adding card games to the database was a hit or miss prospect. There also was no entry for Traditional Card Games like we have now. Then it became possible to add these traditional games. Then it was forbidden to add them again. Now it seems they are OK, at least looking at the current guidelines. I'm just happy they're here now.
So Thor at GameSurplus came through for me again. After BGG.con last year, I asked him about some of the games I was interested in. The most recent finally arrived, resulting in another order from him.
Sun, Sea & Sand
This was the last game I was waiting for Thor to receive. He actually received as batch earlier in the year, but I passed on the game at the time because I wasn't expecting to make another order anytime soon. Then he received the next game on this list shortly thereafter and I was kicking myself. Fortunately, he was expecting some more copies. I was happy to hear that it finally arrived and placed this order.
This game is actually kind of the odd man out on the BGG.con games I asked about. I didn't actually get around to playing it, but I did hear some good things about it. I also have a tendency to like the Cwali games that do grab my attention. Finally, it seems like an easy game to trade away if I end up not liking it. A nice little bonus is that it uses a real Courie shell as the start player marker. How cool is that.
At any rate, I hope to get it played soon. I have high hopes. My ability to get new games in the collection played this year has been better than usual, if not exactly stellar.
This was the first game that I played at this past BGG.con. I don't recall having heard anything about it prior to arriving, but it looked nice, and I am something of a sucker for race games.
That this is based on actual rally racing makes this operate differently than most race games. For one, there is a staggered start, so you are actually racing the clock. Movement is based on gear and acceleration dice, with the gear you end your turn in determining the total "time" for the turn. On top of this are four double sided boards with a variety of track pieces that can be mixed and matched for all sorts of challenges.
I thoroughly enjoyed my play of this at the Con and look forward to being able to play at home. Unfortunately, the dice can stick it to you, but them's the apples. Random bad things can happen in real-life rally through no fault of your own. Sounds thematic to me.
The third game in my order from GameSurplus. I've had my eye on this for a loooong time, but it was terribly hard to find. I was very excited when Mayfair announced that they were going to be publishing it. Given my love of train games, it is surprising that it took me this long to pick it up.
I've developed a significant fondness for 18xx games. I don't think that they are the pinnacle of train game achievement that some of their followers seem to ascribe to them. They are good games, though, and I am generally happy to play them. Unfortunately, most of them are fairly long. They are also fairly deep economic games. That limits the number of players interested in playing. And time limits when those few players can get together.
I don't expect that I will get this one played anytime soon, but I can always hope.
At the Gates of Loyang
I picked this game up separately from the other two, but at close to the same time. A recent Tanga deal was to get this for under $20. With shipping and some Tanga cash, it came out to right at $21. I figure that it reasonable enough. I've enjoyed the other recent Uwe games but have not been able to play this one. Unfortunately, a lot of the locals were not enthused when they played which leaves little opportunity for me to get a game in. I figured it was worth the shot. We'll see.
Thanks to a post in the Hot Deals forum, I made my first purchase at Boardgame Revolution. The games arrived earlier this week, just in time for my eldest son's birthday.
Age of Industry
This was the game mentioned in the above post that caught my eye. I haven't been in too much of hurry to pick this one up, despite a general liking of Martin Wallace games. On of my local gaming buddies who is an even bigger Martin Wallace fan did not speak to highly of it. I just wasn't convinced that it was worth picking up in addition to Brass. Still, it did win the International Gamers Award last year, which automatically puts it on my radar. So, along comes this post and a really good price. After looking around, there are enough other items of interest to place an order. Yippee.
I had an interest in Titan for many years. Unfortunately, it was always a little more expensive than I was willing to pay for a game that I had never played and had some reservations toward. I had heard that it had a tendency to go on for a really long time. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing from my point of view, there had better be a good reason for the length. This is what I was not completely convinced off. When I heard about the Valley Games reprint, I had some hope. Not much because of a fairly negative experience during the Hannibal reprint. Then it still ended up being more expensive than I was happy with. However, once again, the price here was too good to ignore.
The box arrived with some split corners, which seems to be fairly common among these games. I did like the way that the box was packaged so that it would fit the fully punched game. However, once the chits were all punched out, they didn't actually all fit in the custom container. Apparently, they have to air out a little bit before they fit. Maybe I'll post a follow-up after a few more days to see if that really works. Otherwise, it's going to be too tight of a fit. I hope it does because I'm really looking forward to trying it out.
The Republic of Rome
Another classic game that was too expensive to pick up for a long time. Then Valley Games comes along and is able to produce a new edition. I really wanted to pick this one up as well. Of these three, this is the one that would likely have still been picked up at some point. The excellent price made it join this triumvirate. It arrived and I became acquainted with the fairly extensive errata. I've requested the apparently free replacement number counters -- though it may be a couple of months. I haven't yet decided how to address most of the problems. I imagine that I will simply use a pen to correct most of them. We shall see. This is one that likely wouldn't get played very soon even if it were without problems.
Survive: Escape from Atlantis! The Giant Squid Mini Expansion
I tossed this in with the rest for no particular reason other than an intention to order it from somewhere in the relatively near future. Unfortunately, this did not arrive. Instead, I received the new edition of Survive: Escape from Atlantis!. Talk about a nice gift That would have been great (even though I already own an older copy). I notified them of their error, and they sent me a label to ship it back. Oh, yeah, they are sending the squid to me.
I've bought games from a lot of online game stores over the years. For the most part, Thor at GameSurplus is my dealer of choice with the best customer service that I have run across. Still, there are times that I shop elsewhere -- often to get games or prices that I can't get at GameSurplus. This was one of those times.
Overall, my experience with Boardgame Revolution was a positive one, so I would be willing to purchase from them again. There were some issues with registering my account when I placed my order, but that is something I can live with. They have been responsive to email (within 24 hours), though I did not get a response from a web contact form I sent in. They shipped quickly and packed fairly well, and they responded quickly when I had a problem with the order. Free shipping with a $100 order is nice as well. So send them some business.
I love me some train games -- all types really. In the last couple of years, though, I've become more interested in the 18xx branch of the train game family. Because of this, I've been trying to pick up as many games in the family as I can. Unfortunately, the availability of many seems to leave a lot to be desired. A lot of the games seem to come into existence via sporadic print runs and small publishers. This can make it a challenge to pick up some of them.
Deep Thought Games is the sole source of quite a few of the 18xx games. If you get the ready to play versions, they are of pretty high quality. (Some would say the highest quality.) Unfortunately, there is a pretty severe backlog of orders, often requiring approximately a year-long wait between placement of order and delivery of game(s). I took advantage of this, ordering a "gift" for myself this past December (2010), hopefully to arrive this December (2011).
One of the things you can do at their website, is follow your position in the order queue. Some have made forum threads to follow this. Me, I figure I'll post it here and bore my few readers to tears. Anyway, I was keeping up with this on my computer, but it crashed last week, so I have to start over.
02-13-2011 : Behind 325 games
This is where I'll start, which already pretty much two months behind the original order. Unfortunately, in that two months, I don't think that I have made much progress up the queue.
02-20-2011 : Behind 324 games
This ended up being a one-week update. It looks like I have moved up one space in line. At one game per week in the queue, it will be six years and 12 weeks before I get my games. That would be May 7, 2017. Hopefully, there will be some spurts in there.
02-27-2011 : Behind 318 games
Moved up one game per day this week. That's a little bit better as it gets me my games in less than a year.
03-06-2011 : Behind 301 games
Now that's a nice bit of movement for one week. At 17 games a week, I would have mine available in four months. Maybe that wouldn't be so bad.
03-20-2011 : Behind 280 games
It appears that I missed a week there. Oops. Still, in that time, my order has moved up a little bit in the queue. 21 spots in two weeks seems pretty good. At 10 spots a week, I will be at the front of the line long before December.
03-27-2011 : Behind 242 games
Somebody has been really busy in the last week, either putting together games or shipping games that are already together. Anyway, that was a change of nearly 40 in 7 days. Not bad.
04-03-2011 : Behind 228 games
Wow, another week with a pretty large movement in the queue. Still moving at better than a game a day.
04-11-2011 : Behind 228 games
After several weeks of rapid movement, we have a week with no movement at all. I think that's a first for me. That's OK. I've been busy as well
04-17-2011 : Behind 225 games
It's been another slow week of games being produced. At only three games a week, it will take nearly a year and half more before my games become available.
05-08-2011 : Behind 189 games
I haven't checked in here for a few weeks now, though I have been checking up on DTG. Unfortunately, the queue has not moved as much as one might hope given the amount of time that has elapsed (thus the lack of posts). Still, in the past week, things have picked up a fair bit.
05-15-2011 : Behind 182 games
Yay! I finally made it back to the once a week checks. Maybe I'll be able to keep it up for a while now. Since last week, it looks like one game a day has been booted from the queue. Slow and Steady!
06-12-2011 : Behind 112 games
I step away for a few weeks and they run through 70 games. That's not bad at all. I wonder what's been going on that so many have been run through in such a short period of time.
06-26-2011 : Behind 110 games
After some really significant movement, it looks like we're back to a slow crawl. Only two games down in the past two weeks. At that rate we won't make it to my games before the end of the year. Still, I expect some spurts.
07-06-2011 : Behind 109 games
Normally I update this on the weekend. However, since so little movement was apparent, I decided to wait. Then, we find out that 1812: The Cradle of Steam Railways and 1865: Sardinia are available from Deep Thought Games. Needless to say, I placed an order for both of them to be added to my previous order. Here is the current information on the two orders:
Order 3085, behind 109 games
Order 3322, behind 361 games
In the future, I will start to have two lines in the update. Also, if you notice, those numbers are very close to the order number simply being the sum of the total games ordered. It doesn't quite work out in my math, but it is something I will continue to watch.
In further news, both 1817 and 1834 will potentially be available later this year. That will result in yet a third order. This is getting crazy.
07-10-2011 : Behind 107 games, Behind 338 games
Wow, hardly any movement for my first order (2 spots) but fairly significant movement for my second order (23 spots). I know there are a lot of people holding up orders for the availability of 1817 and/or 1834, but that sure seems like a lot. I had kind of hoped with the release of 1812 that a few spots at least would move. I wonder what the actual delay is for people wanting something other than those two games?
07-17-2011 : Behind 97 games, Behind 328 games
All right, both orders moved up exactly 10 spaces this week. I suppose whatever was between the two that allowed the second to advance so quickly last week has now evaporated. At the front of the line, that 10 spot jump is a greater movement than the past month combined. It's nice to be making some headway again.
07-18-2011 : Behind 97 games, Behind 321 games
Wow, overnight, I've moved up another seven spots on the second order with no movement on the first order. I guess my thoughts about everything catching up were wrong. Maybe a bunch of singleton Sardinia orders were shipped out.
07-24-2011 : Behind 95 games, Behind 297 games
Yet more evidence that there is a backlog of games at the front of the queue while people await the production of 1817 and 1834. While my initial order moves up only two spots, my second order moves up 24 spots. It will be interesting to watch as it catches up to the former.
07-31-2011 : Behind 90 games, Behind 285 games
It is kind of fun to watch the asymmetric advance of my two orders through the Deep Thought Games queue. It almost makes me want to place an additional order just to see where it would start and how quickly it would move. It is nice to see the original order with some renewed, if slow, movement forward.
08-08-2011 : Behind 90 games, Behind 275 games
One set of games in the queue goes nowhere, apparently once again caught in a logjam of people waiting for some other games to enter production. My other set of games moved up another 10 spots. Its moving along at a fair clip. I am tempted to order something else just to see if there is even more movement back there in the line.
08-15-2011 : Behind 90 games, Behind 267 games
The front end of that order seems to have stalled again. After finally moving a little bit with the release of 1812, I've now spent three updates at the same level. The later addition is still moving on up the queue at a fairly good rate indicating that games are continuing to be produced. I wonder just how many orders actually account for the games in front of me.
08-28-2011 : Behind 90 games, Behind 263 games
It looks like it is another period of lax movement. Rumor has it that 1817 is close to being ready for production. If that is so, perhaps there will be another big push to have to orders produced. Maybe I'll move on up the queue a little bit more. I'm kind of surprised the second order has stalled as much as it has, though.
09-04-2011 : Behind 90 games, Behind 263 games
Absolutely no change for this week. This is really beginning to drag. It does, though, make me wonder if I wanted delivery now if they would be able to be sent. My suspicion is yes.
09-11-2011 : Behind 90 games, Behind 263 games
:Yawn: Still no change.
09-25-2011 : Behind 88 games, Behind 251 games
Finally, some movement again. Not much, but at least it is moving forward a little bit. There definitely must be some people waiting for other games to be published. I hear that 1817 is going to be available soon.
10-14-2011 : Behind 83 games, Behind 227 games
Our recent move has interfered with my updating this list. There has been a little movement with the first batch of games with a fair amount more with the second batch. Rumor has it that 1817 is due to be added soon. I hope so since I'm supposed to receive my order in December.
10-23-2011 : Behind 83 games, Behind 223 games
Still not much movement. Essen is here, though I don't think that has any effect on DTG's printing process. It is now getting dangerously close to December of this year when I have to pony up the cash and accept delivery. That should be an awesome time. Also, every so often I hear a rumor that 1817's availability is impending. I hope before December.
11-27-2011 : Behind 82 games, Behind 199 games
In a little over one month's time there has been essentially no movement in my primary order. There's not been much movement in my second order either for that matter. There are persistent rumors of the impending release of 1817. If it makes it soon, I'll add it to the list. There is also now the addition of truly mounted boards (with differently sized boxes). Given my general dislike for the foamcore boards, I suppose I will have to go with these -- even with the additional cost.
01-15-2012 : In production, scheduled to ship 1/12/12
I stopped updating this a while back simply because there was no forward progress being made. I checked several times in the interim but didn't see any reason to post the standstill. In addition, I contacted John about getting my order in production for December as requested last year. He said he could bring the games to Chattanooga to save on shipping, so I delayed the actual order. I am actually now in possession of about 2/3 of the order and expect that the rest will ship sometime this week or next. Yippee! Now I have to get started playing
Here we are again.
I am engaging in some blog necromancy at this point in order to track some other DTG orders placed since the above. The elation above was short-lived. Although I received the games by the middle of 2012, due to some issues with production, my order was not actually complete until September 2013. The games, though, are awesome and the quad-fold game boards I got for all of them are (in my opinion) far superior to the foam core boards. I'm happy to have them despite the long wait.
This time around, I have two orders. One was placed January 2014 (order 4041), and the other placed January 2015 (Order 4249). That means there were about 200 orders placed in about one year's time, assuming the order numbers correspond to actual individual orders.
So here we go on the tracking:
01-23-2014 : Behind 844 games
03-06-2015 : Behind 757 games, Behind 1028 games
Not much movement in the first order. You would think that three different groups (though predominately two) working on games could get more than 87 games done in 13+ months.
06-20-2015 : Behind 733 games, Behind 1004 games
In three months time, both orders have moved up 24 games. That's only 8 games a month. Less, actually, since it has been a little more than three months. No wonder people aren't happy with the ordering process. It looks like I will be picking 18PA, 18NY, and 18DIXIE via the priority ordering system (when they are all available).
07-23-2016 : Behind 722 games, Behind 984 games
It's been over a year since I last checked in. Seems as though my orders have moved 11 and 20 spots respectively. That's horrible. Ended up getting the games via priority ordering. You've got to wonder why they even bother keeping an order queue. Especially since they produce games for some of the 18xx get-togethers outside of the queue. On top of that, I pulled out 1846 to play last night and it wasn't even the correct build to play.
Voll in Fahrt
A couple of days ago, I received a package from Funagain that contained a copy of this game. I predicted some love for it from my two boys (aged 2 and 3). Sure enough, they have fallen in love. Yesterday evening, they were very keen on playing and were quite excited by the possibility.
We ended up playing two games, involving my two daughters at varying times. The boys were not really up to the die-rolling, particularly the younger. He wanted to throw them across the table, which meant across the room in practice. We got him to perform some approximation of a roll that was not quite so dangerous. The older of the two had fewer problems with rolling. Unfortunately, counting pips on the dice is not yet their strong suit. The older can do it to some extent, but the younger really can't. Still we managed. And they had a blast.
In fact, I think they may have almost had too much fun (as if there could be such a thing). The elder of the boys, once presented with the opportunity to bump his sister's train off the board cackled maniacally with great glee at this opportunity. He then proceeded to knock trains off at every opportunity -- including his own on at least one occasion -- giggling all the while. If I could bottle and sell that laughter I would have no shortage of gaming funds.
When they got up this morning, son the elder was talking a blue-streak about this game, paying special attention to bumping each other's trains around the board. It certainly made an impression. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a game in with them before work. (Though I suspect this would have turned into several games. I'm such a pushover). However, they were quite happy to play again this evening with just as much giggling and laughter as last night.
I've been on something of a purchasing binge since the conclusion of BGG.con 2010. A lot of those are games I played at BGG.con or shortly before. So far, I've picked up nearly everything I have interest in (or have arranged for pre-orders). Thanks to Funagain's January--now seemingly indefinite--shipping deal (free shipping with a $50 in-stock order). I was able to pick up another couple of games from that list plus an expansion to another.
Voll in Fahrt
Anyone that knows much about my gaming history knows that I love train games. Technically, this is a train game, so you might see the draw. The game caught my eye at BGG.con with me having no other knowledge of it. While it is a pleasant enough game if you like trains, there is not all that much there. Two types of randomness combine here -- one die moves track around while another allows you to move one of your engines -- which can be frustrating if you take the game too seriously. However, with up to four engines in play, there are some decisions to be made. I think I have rated it a six at the moment.
So why would I pick up a game I am so lukewarm to, especially given the number I own? Well, I do like train games, so that it is a plus. The engine pieces are also somewhat cute. Pretty much the deciding factor is that my two sons (soon to be 3 and 4) really LOVE trains. They have also recently developed some interest in playing games, in particular another train game that I own. I figure that this will see more than enough play with/by them to justify owning it -- even if I think that it is less than stellar. Their amazed looks (and smiles) on seeing it tonight tend to confirm that. I hope to get a play in with them tomorrow evening.
As an aside, Funagain's site states there are no English rules available. However there is a translation here on BGG.
One of my most consistent gaming buddies is a Martin Wallace fan. That's a good thing in my book -- I'm something of a Wallace fan myself. He tends to pick up the Treefrog games quickly, while I am a little slower. He introduced us to the limited edition of London back before BGG.con. I found it to be quite interesting, despite feeling I played poorly. This was further compounded by some poor understanding of the rules.
Needless to say, I knew I would be picking up a copy when it became available (again). I say again because I passed on the limited edition. I just couldn't justify the additional cost at the time. I probably wouldn't justify it now. I will note that I do like the limited edition money (I really dislike the war/treefrog tiddly wink coins) and the houses. I may have to do something to pimp my copy a little in the future. Fortunately, my wife is fairly crafty.
At its heart, the game is a fairly straightforward card game -- the board is almost completely superfluous. There's a little bit of managing some resources thrown in there for good measure. All of that's not a bad thing. I love card games. A couple of my favorite games -- Atlantic Star and Union Pacific -- are really card games at heart. Still, while not completely unnecessary here, I wonder whether it could have reasonably been done differently.
Namibia and Namibia Uranium Expansion
I actually picked up Namibia a little while back from GameSurplus, one of my favorite purveyors of boardgames. (Please consider purchasing the game from him.) Unfortunately, it did not come with the cubes that represent copper in the game. I contacted the publisher and they kindly responded, forwarding the cubes in the process. Those arrived earlier this week.
Today, the uranium expansion arrives with my other game order. It feels as though the circle is now complete. It is, after all, one of those games that seems as though the expansion was always intended to be a part of the whole. After all, the information for uranium is printed right there on the board. It is also one of the pricier expansions out there -- Funagain is selling it for $12. That includes 12 purple cubes, a purple disc, and rules insert (with extended turns game track).
I've played neither the base game nor the game with the expansion, so I will have to report back on that. However, the game does include one of my favorite train pieces in all of boardgaming:
The train in the middle is the one I'm talking about. That's the train from Giganten. The game itself also seems fairly interesting (thus the purchase). I hope to get it played in the next couple of weeks.