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Board/Card Games and/in Therapy

Sara Bear
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Yesterday, I played NMBR 9 in therapy with my therapist 1.5 times (we did a small puzzle between the two plays, so we ran out of time on the second play).

Let me back up and say, my therapist is a registered play therapist (and a registered play therapist supervisor), and that is one of the things she brings to the table as a therapist. Sand tray therapy is something we've done once, a directed one, and it was a really useful and interesting session. That's one kind of play therapy.

My daughter has been doing some play therapy with her therapist (my 20 year old daughter), and while I don't feel it's my place to say some of the things they've done, it sounds like there's a variety of things you can do, and it's sometimes up to the patient what you do.

You might wonder, how good of a use of time, was that playing a game and doing a puzzle, with my therapist? Especially since it did reduce the talking a bit, because of thinking about how I want to build in NMBR 9, though it's a pretty light game and I would say a pretty good fit for this kind of use in therapy . . . as well as slowing down the flow of my rambling, can also have a point, sometimes.

It was an interesting mix of being in the moment, present with what we were doing, enjoying playing (and yeah, I know it's a multiplayer solitaire game, but we were still doing it together), as well as thinking a bit about what I wanted to talk about, and saying it. The thing is, even though I got less talked about, that doesn't mean that therapy was less bang for the buck, as it were. There are aspects to the therapeutic relationship that encompass a variety of things, and types of interactions, and how you relate to the therapist, the person you are transferring a bunch of emotions, roles, and other things onto based on previous experiences in your life.

I found it very healing, and it makes me feel really happy to think about therapy today. That might sound silly to some, but I'm not going to go into some of the specific to me reasons why I feel this was a particularly beneficial thing to do in therapy right now; I know she knows, and that's enough for me. There's power in different ways of relating and interacting, and I'm tickled to have been able to bring one of my favorite things to do, into therapy.

We've also done some art therapy, and today as we were packing up the two players' worth of NMBR 9 pieces I'd brought, into the 4x6 Iris photo case I had it in in my purse, she noticed Silk Road Maker, the arcade version you can find in the files section there, she noticed the board and the magnetic pieces I'd made, and asked about them, specifically if I'd made this, and where one finds things like these.

I told her about it, and as I'm typing up this post, I'm thinking that a future art therapy session, a different kind than creating how I'm feeling onto a canvas, could be cutting out, etc. a simple pnp game. I wouldn't want it to be anything that talking about therapeutic stuff could make me mess up on; nothing complicated. Something like Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game, Ambagibus, Blorg in the Midwest, and similar. I could print Ambagibus on label paper, adhere to chipboard, then cut out.

Even if I don't do that, though, I can see bringing the simplest games, like Orchard and Ambagibus, to therapy. Timeline Inventions, not a pnp, might also be a good choice. What else do you guys think might be a good choice?

I first brought a couple games in my purse, to play while waiting through my daughter's appointment, since sometimes she has me in there for some of it, and sometimes not. This came in handy two weeks ago, when my daughter's therapist told me after their session was done (why couldn't she have told me at the beginning, and given me more time to adjust) that my therapist wasn't coming in, as several of her kids had just woken up with the flu that morning. My therapist had tried to call me, but her phone was having issues and mostly people she called couldn't hear her. She did try to call me herself, and that was the problem.

It was jarring to hear this just a minute or two before I expected my session to start, and while I wasn't mad at her, knowing stuff happens in life, I was still annoyed, because you get yourself all into what you are about to talk about, the emotions, the help processing or releasing or whatever, that you are going to get that day, and then bam. It's like a pressure cooker taken off the heat with no sink to cool it down in.

After a few minutes, I settled myself down, in part by pulling out Sprawlopolis and playing it on the couch next to me. There was plenty of seating for other patients, and just enough space for me to take my city in a a couple different directions. I posted about this play here: Item for Geeklist "Solitaire Games On Your Table - August 2019 "

The next week in therapy after that, which was a week ago, I showed her a couple of games I had in my purse, and talked a little about how I used it to reset my emotions and change my focus/perspective/feelings, after that abrupt news.

Today, well, yesterday, she referred to my new purse, with all the stuff I have in it in just the right way and place and type of thing for me for a variety of situations, she referred to it as a coping kit, or something like that. I like to see it as a support, to help me deal with a variety of situations. It won't be coming along on a quick trip to the store, but to doctor's visits, which are super frequent for me sometimes, it's a boon (and I even have some food in a stack of screw on mini tritan plastic jars, for taking with medications; stuff like granola, roasted chickpeas, and stuff, mostly fiber/protein stuff.), and to other things where I know I'm going to be there a good while. A memory foam pad on the shoulder really makes it feel much lighter than it is. It's a Lug brand purse, Jamboree, and I am loving the hidden insulated compartment on the side for a water bottle (or I can put the food thing in there if needed, and water bottle in a gusseted pocket made for that size and shape of thing, like an umbrella, on the inside, where I currently keep the stack of food.)

Well, my ramble is increasing, and I've covered most everything, though I expect I may have more feelings over time about this stuff, as is usual as I process things in the days post-therapy session.

I was delighted by today's session, and am enjoying the surprising strength of the feelings and healing and positive stuff created or supported by today's session.

Gaming in therapy, who'd have thunk?

Edit: Her reaction to the game, is something I meant to talk about! She requested we play again after we finished the small puzzle! She thought it was really cool, and as we played, she noted that it felt a bit like Tetris, which is one of her most favorite games of all time, and so before we were even done with our first play, she said she was going to get the game for herself! She liked the spatial aspect of play, really enjoying the game herself, mentioning an almost meditative, relaxing feel to it. (I might have to introduce her to Kodama: The Tree Spirits, in that case, though there's a bit more to it than NMBR 9). I also mentioned how great NMBR 9 is solo, and that the 1 Player Guild is the biggest guild on BGG (most people look at me weird when I mention solo play, so saying something to give them some context or scope for something that's a new, often weird idea to them, is something I've found useful).

She also said that this sort of game/activity/puzzly type thing, is a great thing for brain fog. It helps use the brain in ways that, apparently, if you don't, they lose . . . something, over time. I have heard contradictory stuff about this in the past, and the info that physical exercise is great for the brain, but she responded with that what she was telling me was a true thing too.

Although if I was having heavy brain fog, I might turn more to noodling around with Knot Dice, than really playing anything. On a previous occasion, I'd taken my double set of Knot Dice to show her, as she'd given me a Celtic knot illustration to trace as a soothing activity, and color if I wanted (I do adult coloring as stress relief/enjoyment.). She was interested in the Dice, but the fact I'd never sent the couple of defective ones off for the replacements Matthew, the designer, had offered me, was I think a turn off for her. I did emphasize not getting those replaced was on me. She still may get some of them for her play therapy rooms, I don't know! I think they'd be awesome there.
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Thu Sep 5, 2019 8:54 am
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Homemade test run of Knitwit with this knitwit and her husband, the overanalysis you've been waiting for!

Sara Bear
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Well, there's bunches of stuff I need to blog about, like going to Saltcon last weekend, which is HUGE for someone like me, but, I want to do a small post that's way overdue about my test of Knit Wit, by Pandemic creator Matt Leacock.

Board Game: Knit Wit

I should say, a homemade test. This was roughly six weeks ago, not long after the rules dropped for the game.

I should have remembered my slicker chinese knotting cord, but I haven't touched it in years, so yarn was the first thing I thought of. I used dishcloth cotton yarn. About 19-ish inches if I remember correctly, maybe more, allowing some for tying.

Various clear small jars were used, with the spool numbers written on slips of paper and put inside. It worked well for us to see which was which, but it doesn't show well in the pictures.

From gallery of sarebear62


The red die is just the button you are racing to grab as the first player done, in a two player game. You'd have more buttons, with more players. Distribution of spools, loops per player changes with player count, I think, but you can check the rules for that.

I came up with some words and phrases, it was harder than you'd think, trying not to just straight do the same types they did in the rulebook, on the other hand, they know what they are doing. So I did a mix. Next game we will take out some of the ones used here, to see how a different but with possible some same, might work.

So, we got to it, starting to place loops and spools. First placement, no choice. Must place a spool in loop, so, it has to go in first one. But where in that loop, is a choice. Do you put in middle, side, end? Near word tagm as these must stay outside the whole arrangement that gets built. This is a bit of a spatial puzzle, that affects how and where the further loops and spools can interact with each other. I haven't played it enough to understand all the ways early placement affects things, but you could set things up a bit more open or closed off for various options. Especially with each new addition.

It's a game in itself, and I enjoy it alot, though I suppose some may not, and might get impatient with those who are having fun with that part of it. For me, this is MORE than a word game. Though, when playing with others, I would have to keep in mind that I can't take forever on the loop and spool placing, for me, I worry that people primarily into word and social games, would want to hurry pas this part.

I would try to preplan on the previous player's turn, but what he does is going to change things. I figure I'd take up to 90 seconds, once I knew the game better. But not always.

From gallery of sarebear62

Spools clockwise from lower left: 2, 3, 6, 1
Spool 2 is in loop silly. 1 is in political and silly. 3 is in colder than ice and political. 6 is in geeky, and colder than ice.

Actually, and I will get on with describing our experience here, figuring out where the circles/words are going to overlap, and where they are separate, takes a little time. Not a lot, but a little. I found myself, the more loops and spools were in the construction, the more I needed to trace with my finger, to figure out the implications of potential placement.

However, some of this is likely due to homemade, unclear components. Part of it was, we did discern, the lines of loops passing between spools, we'd lose line of sight, and get confused as to what was going where. You'd think with clear "spools" that would be better, but there were alot of loop lines lying atop each other in places, too.

I'm being perhaps too specific, it's a very small thing, but that 90 second estimate I gave for placing a loop is likely only good for the first loop or three, or the last maybe, depending.

There are really, really interesting choices in there, but you don't have to get stuck there. I was just delighted to see that game, within the game.

From gallery of sarebear62

Spools clockwise from lower left: 2, 5, 3, 4,,6, 1
Added taller than giraffe, which is around 2, also in silly. Added spooky around spool 6, and spool 4 in spooky, also in political and colder than ice.

Placed all loops and spools, though we clustered too many in colder than ice, I don't know if my additions there show it, but you don't have to add the spool to the loop you just added, except for the first loop of the game. Taller than a giraffe was added as a loop, but no spool was added to it. We ended up with a bunch in colder than ice. Silly and political had several, too.

My answers, after all this buildup? Okay, no comments on the political content, it's just where the word game went. I understand we all have different views and there's a forum for that. Keep in mind it was January when I did this.

So.

I grabbed the button stand-in, forgetting to say the requisite catch phrase (I think there's one, it's late).

My answers:

Spool 1. , in loops Silly, Political - Ross Perot (I thought my husband might put Trump, so I went reverse Family Feud, going less popular, because if either of you puts the same thing, you don't score it, I don't think.)

Spool 2. In loops silly, taller than a giraffe - Dumbo jumping off tall platform (was worried about a challenge on this one)

Spool 3. In loops political, colder than ice - Vladimir Putin. cool

Spool 4. In loops political, colder than ice, spooky - Hillary Clinton whistle

Spool 5. In loops colder than ice, silly - nothing. Penguins came to mind, but they aren't colder than ice. D'oh, Frosty the Snowman? But he's not colder than ice, he's snow. Besides, I just thought of him.

Spool 6. In loops colder than ice, spooky, geeky - Spectre (DC Comics)

Basically, I won. My husband wasn't as into either part as I, though I like both puzzley things, and this type of word game IF THE SOCIAL ASPECTS aren't too . . .pressured. if it's not a team thing, if it's not an environment in which the alpha players do better, or the charming ones, or the brilliant ones, or the ones who just seem to have a silver spoon in their mouth, and love to . .. not exactly show off at the type of game I'm describing, but . . . Kind of a passive ish alpha. Nothing wrong with being competitive, or doing well in life. But . . .team games, and such, in general, ugh.

I actually have a request, from an experience at Saltcon, to write on this sort of thing. Social games that have worked for me and my husband, who tend to not like them, in general, but occasionally find one. Discuss what works, and why, and such. Or maybe just, the games we've found,

This Knit Wit post has a bit of that in it, so, I hope you are out there!

This game can accommodate just two people, which is another reason I was really interested in it. "Party style" games that sound interesting to me, are rare enough, but ones that work for two, are really rare. I thought this one worked well, from what I could tell from one round with a likely unbalanced set of words and phrases, that my husband had a hard time with.

Learning how to distribute your loops and spools to avoid a bunch of difficult clustering, and things like that, is probably a thing to learn. I'm guessing people would create troublesome combos on purpose, if they had somehow thought up already, a good word, and were placing late in the round . . .

The element, one of them, that's less here, with two of us, is that, are other people going to put the same answer, factor. However, with two of us, it turns into, or it could, the battle of wits thing, from "The Princess Bride", if you REALLY want another game within a game. Second guessing . . .

Anyway, This is really not meant to be a formal review, but a preview based on our homemade mockup and test, and my thoughts, ramblings, etc. I've meant to get it out there sooner than this.

It IS fun. We had fun, but I think my husband's enjoyment would increase with a different selection of words and phrases, so we'll test again, a couple times in a row. My follow up will be much quicker, assuming I get to it. I have alot going on with me.

Eye of Sa(Ra) - stuff I have my eye on. Thematically appropo today, in one case.

The Goonies: Adventure Card Game. My daughter's reaction was priceless, I talk about it HERE. It's Goonies!

Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks This is hopefully the year for a good Doctor Who game!

By a Fellow Utahn, and a designer many know, Alf Seegert currently has Heir to the Pharaoh, on Kickstarter ending within the week I think... that link is to the BGG page. From there, you can find the relevant links. I've watched a gameplay video, and it's really good. There is a clever mix of these interesting things going on, but it's not overly complicated. Well, let me actually say, that it didn't FEEL overly complex. I imagine it took quite some time to get it right, and get it to feel that way. Please do go check it out, and give the video a watch.

How to Play Heir to the Pharaoh -- demonstrated by designer Alf Seegert
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Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:38 pm
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Jumbo Family Solitaire, Cities A Bit Awry, Board Meeting: Whose is Bigger? Celtic Dice and Modular Portable (Card) Game storage

Sara Bear
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Edit: Apparently I'm playing something wrong in Cities, so my explanation, and scoring, needs to be redone. Sorry about that.

So, Something another blogger posted got me thinking about board sizes. Specifically, really big ones. So I decided to pull out our largest ones, a few weeks back, and compare them. I threw in Pandemic and The Game of Life, one atop the other, for a point of reference, since many gamers know these boards, though I knew they weren't in the same league as the big boys. I also threw in King of Tokyo, as the smallest I have.

I debated whether to go for prettier arrangements, or just trying to show the comparisons. It was hard enough to do the latter, so artsy can come later. I had to stand up on an ottoman to get some of these shots.

From gallery of sarebear62

Also included are Firefly: The Game, Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Villains, The Powerpuff Girls: Saving the World Before Bedtime, Clue Master Detective. The tables here are 33" square, and 2'x 4'.

From gallery of sarebear62

TTR: Nordic was the largest. Powerpuff, seen below, barely edged out Firefly base game board, by about an eighth of an inch in one or two directions. Once you add Blue Sun Or Kalidasa expansions to Firely, though, that puppy will kick butt of everything else here. Add both? Oh, mama.

From gallery of sarebear62


2nd place Powerpuff, which is no powerpuff . . . Clue: Master Detective, is more massive than it feels here. It is larger than the Legendary board and Legendary: Villains mat, and larger than Pandemic and Life.

-------------------------------------------------------

Solitaire is one of the classic Components: Traditional Playing Cards. But it isn't in the database, the card game. There is an abstract game by that name in the database.

I am not sure why this is.

So, we pulled out our jumbo deck of Mickey Mouse cards, and I was fiddling with them, and I thought, 'Hey, maybe I should try Solitaire with these.'

From gallery of sarebear62

That's a Tivo remote and quarter for scale; the table is 2 feet across, 4 feet long. It's just laid flat on the floor.

So I dealt out the Solitaire setup and started playing. I asked my husband if he wanted to join me. He sat the other side of the cards, acting as my Vanna White. There was a little pointing out of things if he thought I wasn't seeing something. Backseat driving, but in the front. We did this in good humour, since this was a two-person experience with one person in the Vanna role.

The fun of tossing a giant card at my husband was pretty good, but much of the time I'd lean forward and gently give it a short toss onto the right stack; he'd fix it up if it got too messy. Everything about playing Solitaire with jumbo cards made it funner, for us, except shuffling was an issue. I instituted some pile shuffling for part of it, since jumbo cards like this aren't going to shuffle as easily as regular cards.

After I played twice, and got stuck both times, we switched places, and he played twice. Also getting stuck both times.

We switched once more, and had a successful game,with my daughter coming out of teenage hibernation land, acquiescing to be taught Solitaire, and getting into it with us.

From gallery of sarebear62

This is the most fun I've had playing Solitaire!

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cities is a game that I've packed up one set of the tiles, and a copy of the rules, to put in my Fun-Sense kit I have.

This kit includes fun and sensory things, many of which would be good to use when anxious, depressed (if you could summon up the motivation), or otherwise in need of some relaxation, distraction, or something, with aspects to it that may delight or soothe, relax or some other thing, that the items in my kit are curated to function for. Having sensory issues, sensory objects will help reorient me, and soothe or relax me, just by getting me to focus on that sensation.

So, Cities, a packed up portable solo kit of it, fits perfectly in my Fun-Sense kit, because besides being colorful, it's meditative to play, and absorbing. My anxieties are eased, as I've lost myself in the game. It doesn't solve my problems by any means, but it's a great redirect.

From gallery of sarebear62

I played 4-5 games of it, and my first, is the best I've probably ever done!. Most of the yellow Attractions did not come out until late, so my board was great for setting up some pretty big scoring Terraces with alot of huge/long water/park views. It was wicked!

From gallery of sarebear62

Score=93ish, counting that high I might be off. Never scored out of the sixties before.

My next couple of games were fun as well. I played two, in my lap on a Star Wars: Life box, put it away, then got it back out and played a couple more. I know the Life box makes for a more cluttered picture.

From gallery of sarebear62

Score=seventy-something (blog form needed resubmitted after I'd typed in this score and added up next; too frustrated to add it up again at the moment lol)

You can do one of 3 things after placing a tile:

Place a meeple on the most recently played tile
Jump a meeple to the most recently played tile
Walk a meeple to an adjacent AREA, this includes diagonally. (I just realized I've been playing this walk to an adjacent TILE; oops! Big difference.

Most of the meeples in my Epic game above weren't walked. Only one was, the low end of points, optimizing that, so my score wouldn't change much. Still chagrined, though.

From gallery of sarebear62

Score= Eighty-something (see above)

By grouping, below, that includes a "grouping" of just 1. Orthagonal only, not diagonal adjoining.

Playing on hardest level, you score a meeple on yellow Attractions, 1 for each yellow Attraction in the grouping, and 1 for any orange/red Terrace directly adjoining any of these Attraction spaces in the grouping.

In green Parks, it's the same but with 1 for each blue Water directly adjoining any of the green Park spaces, and scoring 1 for each green Park in your green Park grouping.

For a meeple in an orange/red Terrace grouping, you score 1 for each Terrace in the grouping, but then 1 for any water or park you can see from any Terrace in the grouping, seeing through water and parks, to water and parks beyond them. Each spot only scores once per meeple, ie, if you have a three deep Terrace looking out on a three deep water park water, you don't score the water park water times three. You just score for the edge terraces that look outward. As far as I understand it.

I really enjoy the game, and the different decisions you make. The puzzley nature of how best to place the pieces, and the nature and types of those decisions changes early game to end game. It's so yummy!

Of course, since I've been playing a major rule wrong, that's going to affect things, but walking is something I usually do much less of than the other two things, and that was when I was playing it too powerfully. Situationally, Some games just need more walking, depending on the draw of the tiles.

I find myself about 60% through the game, starting to check where my meeples are at, with new scoring opportunities. It can be overdone.

I really enjoy this game, and would give it 4 out of 5 Dolphins. Because I love Dolphins. I'm afraid of sounding like another blogger, but if I want to rate how I like something, I'd use a scale of dolphins. I didn't set out to mini-review Cities, it just ended up there.

I might make a Geeklist of Laptop playable solo games, I don't know, sometimes I go nuts with the Geeklists. But I spend alot of time in a chair with my feet up. Pain escalates, eventually, the longer they are down. Depending on factors. Though I should get up and move more, that's good for arthritis, to a point. But lap-playable games wouldn't be useless. 15 years from now, might be more essential. My prognosis "Increasing pain, decreasing function, and more parts WILL go."

But, for now I can tolerate the discomfort during a 3 hour Firefly game, at home anyway where I can do more to mitigate things. I'm not hopeless yet.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Eye of Sa(Ra)

I've had my eye on Knot Dice for awhile now. This is perfect for my Fun-Sense kit. I love mazy, twisty, labyrinthine things, and the Celtic knot patterns you form with these dice fit that bill. There are solo puzzles and games you can play with these, and multiplayer. They look really nice, from the pictures. These are at the tip-top of my wishlist.

They'd be fun to just noodle around with, making paths and patterns. I'd eventually like two sets of 18, for 36, but I can start with one. Until this came along, I had a couple of Celtic knot games full size I'd been eyeing, but the amount of space they'd take up, for something more about me, than my husband's tastes, had me hesitant. This is much more compact, and he enjoys Tsuro well enough, so it's a pretty sure thing.


Another thing, that I think is brilliant, is the Card Caddy, currently on Kickstarter. See link to news article on BGG, below, which has link to Kickstarter there.

It's the Double Decker version, that holds two standard decks, securely snaps closed, and unfolds to form a Draw/Discard tray. He previously successfully funded the single deck version.

There are stretch goals for a Triple Deck version, a snap-on bin for tokens, bits, dice, etcm, snap-on scorepad, snap-on larger bin for poker chips (useful for other things too), and connectors to connect your deck boxes together.

Beyond your card games like Star Realms, Fluxx, or card games with bits, which are all great uses, think bigger. Think about using it as a modular system to help organize games, especially ones with alot of cards and bits, like Firefly. Ships in the poker bin, tokens in that or the other bin . . .snap things together in whatever configuration you need. With Firefly, you still have the big Story cards, ship boards, rules, and boards, but people have to deal with those separately from all these other things as is.

If that doesn't seem like the right game for it, how about many of the Adventure card games out there now, the campaign style, your character levels up over time, rpg-ish ones?

Anyway, I hope he succeeds. He says he'll try to produce things they don't unlock this t, in future Kickstarters. I do think for his own sake, and to hit goals, he might need to price things upwards a smidge. But that's just me. Too late now.

This would be good for portable gaming kits, especially if you use something I'll be bringing up in the next Eye, The Badger Deck, or other decks that can do alot,, that you can use to try alot of games, and take them with you in more portable, versatile form out on the road.

I'm not affiliated. Not even backing, currently, with husband out of work. I hope I'm allowed to blog about a Kickstarter I'm interested in.

BGG news post that mentions Card Caddy

Coming next time: Firefly, P.I, and Piffing!
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Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:18 am
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Dusting Off Thebes; No Photos, Two Weeks of gaming, Christmas, All Night New Year's Firefly, Batman Fluxx Punches Star Fluxx, P.I. Snaps Unreasonably

Sara Bear
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There won't be any photography, as I'm getting overwhelmed by dealing with weeding thru photos, editing them, uploading to picasa, and all that. It's hours of time. I just shut down thinking about it. However, much of what I wrote below was written piecemeal over the last two weeks, when I thought I'd be including pictures. Sorry for that, and the wall of text.

I've also switched to using mostly my camera over time, so maybe too many photos too many places . . .but it's harder to compose on the small screen, so they'll need more cropping and such. My aging eyes, need a camera with a bigger screen. This one's only two years old, which is new, for us, so not getting a new one anytime soon.

Frustrating. Also scary to post this blog post, a bit disjointed like that, and also showing . . .me. maybe more than people looking at games want to see. But some days I am more capable than others of writing more focused than others.

Currently, kinda less so. So, just going to try to pull things together, and push it out, sans photos.

Games played before Christmas:

Thebes

We hadn't played this one in a couple years. I had forgotten that it's not as intimidating as it may seem, with all the components it has for its game weight.

We refreshed ourselves on the rules, set up, and started. For 2 players, you go for a full 3 years. With more players, it's less.

I enjoy the time track around the board, with its 52 weeks and how everything you do costs time, from traveling to cities, archeological dig sites, hiring assistants, gaining special or general knowledge, digging at an archeological site, picking up advantages like shovels, travel bonuses, or congress cards that get more valuable for end game VP the more of them you have. Or you can wipe the cards available area, also for a time cost.

Turn order doesn't always alternate; whomever is farthest back on the time track gets to go. If you are farthest back still at the end of your turn, well, it's your turn again. So you really have to weigh what you do . ..the cards with two book knowledge on them, vs. one, cost more time to get, as you are getting more. The cost of traveling adds up, too, and weighing how long to dig for artifacts . . . .especially if someone has dug there already, removed some artifacts, as "dirt", ie, useless tokens are put back in, diluting the results future diggers will get. But, shovels can help, getting you more digging without adding time.

So, we began. The last couple times we played (okay, the only two, before this) I don't think either one of us dug in the first year. Since you can generally only dig at each site once a year, I thought I'd try to dig somewhere the first year. I had to use up a bit of time to do it, because I had only 4 special knowledge for that site at that point, and no general knowledge or other aids. The wheel, you spin to how much knowledge you have, and it shows you how many times you get to "dig" for each week spent. The more time spent, and the more knowledge you have, the more "digs", ie, pulls out of that site's bag, you get. I think I spent 10 to 12 weeks, ouch. I ended up with 3 artifacts. And that's with getting the bonus one for being the first to dig at the site. This is the risk of early game digging, you don't have as much resources built up.

Another thing, is the set up of the cards. A portion of them are in a reserve stack you only use if you go through the main pile. In a 2 player game, so far, we've never had this happen, so keep in mind some key cards could be stuck there, orso far down in the main pile as to come out so late, that that it won't be worth the cost to pick them up, then. We saw none of the travel bonus cards, until the car showed up in the third year, and its time savings benifits would not have been worth its cost for the 2/3 of a year left in the game. It would cost more to get, than you'd save from its bonus. Later we found that both Zeppelins were stuck in the reserve deck, along with a number of other special cards. I picked up, early, one shovel, and later, the only other one to show up. We fought over the congress cards. He finished with 3, I with two.

I think I was trying to do too much. I kept trying to deny him more of the stuff he needed, but go after stuff I needed. It sort of worked as I shut him out of one site's knowledge, and he didn't get much of another, but man he got alot of the others, and that was plenty. It's fun trying to balance what to do and go for, but sometimes it gets the better of you. I kind of felt like it was, halfway through, but was still having fun. I think, but can't be sure, that I won both our previous plays. I at least won one.

Exhibits didn't show up until late, as they are low in the deck, and we each couldn't do them until near the end, grabbing a couple barely before game end. These were a minor factor in scoring, this time, but we each got at least a couple . . .if it had been less, it would have been like, why are they in the game? If you have a close game, they can tip you, and if I'd gotten more artifacts of a certain color I could have done more, if I'd managed it in "time". Still, with the way knowledge majority scoring works, you could ignore exhibits entirely if you wanted. Depending on other factors.

He won, Eighty something to Forty something, I think. Well played, I actually really want to play again, after this, even if my description makes it sound lifeless and draggy. It wasn't that at all, I kept feeling like, a couple more choices can turn this thing around . . . Except it didn't. Lol. But I felt on the brink of turning it around, about a quarter into the third year. Poor choices on my p, combined with great ones on his. But it was fun.

Probably far too much about it. Just pleased it wasn't as intimidating as things often get magnified too in my head. There's that Gaming with Disabilities category, for you.

Depression can easily make things feel and seem more overwhelming than they actually are, and it's good to challenge that assumption and cognitive distortion, to use some lingo. Breaking things down into small tasks, or smaller bites is also really helpful. If I wanted to try Thebes, but it had been awhile, and thought it was intimidating, a smaller step would be to just read the rules, and or player aid that came with it. Maybe not even the whole thing, but just browse it. Insert any game here you want. Some rulebooks are much better done than others. I've been putting off refreshing on Red November, because the rulebook isn't organized the best. Another step could be seeing if someone on bgg has uploaded a player aid, guide, something helpful that's organized better, for that situation, but that requires a little mental oomph to sort through the options in the files section there. Still, a very doable step, and an example of something I can do to quit procrastinating refreshing on Red November.

Though, with the influx of Christmas gifted games, we're spacing out learning/refreshing so we, rather I, mostly, don't get too overwhelmed.

Okay, back to Pre-Christmas gaming. Next up is Star Fluxx.

We like the fandoms referenced in this game, from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who, Star Wars/Trek, Lost in Space (I think), and others. We know it can be random; in fact the changing rules is a change of pace. There's not many meaningful decisions in the game, but there are a few. The wormhole card, gives everyone the option of an extra card draw on your turn, but if you do it, you HAVE to play it, and there can be consequences for that you might not like. It's a risk. There's some other times, where the order of what you play becomes very important; especially if you have the "Play All" new rule card in hand, or a couple oth.

This time, however, I did not enjoy the game, and my husband felt off about it too. We had a Keeper Limit 3 card out for many turns, without a new rule coming up to replace it . . .for far, far too long. We've played with Keeper limits before, but not so so very long you want to run screaming out the front door and the person who first played it wishes they'd never.

I won, but we were both bleh. Out of probably 20 plays, this has been the only "yuck", so we'll see. We just got Batman Fluxx for Christmas, so can compare.

We got, for Christmas, Castellan, Batman Fluxx, P.I., Firefly: The Game, and Star Realms., Dungeon Twister: The Card Game, and Snake Oil: Elixir

Castellan is fun. We, Scott and I, played a tight game, where he won, 41-38. It's so tactile and visual.

We played the 2nd tutorial game of Dungeon Twister: The Card Game. This one introduced combat, the close kind, and discovering characters scattered throughout the dungeon besides objects.

Both of us learned the value of saving an action or two for future turns, though we haven't seen an explicit statement that you can ONLY save them towards the next turn,there was a cryptic statement earlier in the rulebook that you can't ever get to 7 actions in this game, though they provide for it for the future. Since you only generate 3 actions a turn, I later inferred when thinking on this, that you must be only able to save unused actions towards the next turn. So you can only build up 6.

Anyway, we started, and my end of the dungeon had many pits. I did more twisting there in this game to reduce jumping, since you only get 3 jump cards. You can spend a combat card for it if you have to, but I wouldn't want to if I could help it. We each had a 5 attack Colossus in the game, for one, and the double attacking Backstabber if she's with a friend, for another.

We used the columnar pieces from the original edition of The Downfall of Pompeii, blue and yellow colors,to mark our people physically in the zones of the maze. You actually know exactly where they are, in which zone of each dungeon twister card, by the placement and orientation of their character card to the side of the room they are in. But visually, it didn't give you the "feel" of moving through a maze, or a "feel" that you'd just jumped the pit trap. I actually get and can visualize where my people are, it's a brilliant system, and leaves no need for me to have a differentiator between my meepleish pieces on the dungeon cards. Because the character cards will tell you. It's for feel. It also helps orient things when taking pictures, or remind us to move the cards, now that we're moving the pieces. Before, it was shifting the cards along the side of the maze. But, again, brilliant though it is for how it works, it didn't give me the "feel" of going through a dungeon maze. This works, and this copy of Pompeii I got in a Math Trade, was a bit short in those two colors (I knew that when I traded for it, it was before a reprint had been announced).

Anyway, my husband ended up kicking my butt at combat, multiple times, I tried to weigh when to play my better cards and when not. He wounded, then killed, three of my people, really easily. Too easily. We are both left feeling, there's hopefully more to this game. I know there's ranged combat, line of sight, a whole host of other characters . . .but the nature of how things splay out to the sides of the dungeon means it'll never get too thick, or you'd need a really long table to play. One more width I think is this tabl's limit, and even then if you ended up with a bunch of people in one room, it'd be tight. It's about 5 feet long. The dungeon can't get any dee vertically, this was the limit. It's a narrow table. So about 7 cards wide.

I think the game has potential; we have one more tutorial to play.

Then we played Batman Fluxx. This might fire Star Fluxx for me, but I need to not let an unusually negative play of Star Fluxx have too much weight. However, this has some fresh new things in it, besides the fun art based on one of the animated series, and some mild art deco styling. Things that lead to moments of actual decisions to be made, rather than alot of just playing goals and keepers, rinse, recycle, that happens in Star Fluxx. There's more to it, but that is a third of it. They decreased that, here, I feel.

But, one play does not tell the whole story, and in fact, the new story that may be fun or may be annoying, is whether going for trying to keep villains off the streets or not. It can depend on other cards, but . . .that is the main struggle, decision, alot of the time. Not the only one, though! And, sometimes it benefits you, sometimes not. Sometimes either way would. But a couple of cards really can make some of this more tasty.

So, we started, and my first keeper was Robin. His? Batman! An auspicious start. The abilities on the Keepers that had them were fitting, useful, and quite powerful, even, for some. Very thematic. There was a New Rule card I didn't play because I feared it would be too powerful, and he'd be able to use it on his turn.

In the end, I pulled out the win by getting an extra turn with the Batmobile, so I could clear another pair of villains like I did the previous turn, and finally win the goal (I actually won both goals out). Neither of these goals required villains, so either there needed to be no villains out, or the New Rule card in effect that lets you win a villainless goal, even if someone else has villains out. I'd still have to be free of them, though.

We played again New Year's Day, and I was surprised my daughter agreed. I'd been trying to get her to play Castellan, also received for Christmas, which now has her set against trying it. Sigh. So I suggested Batman Fluxx.

She won, hurray, but only after bringing people back to the table where it was still left as it was, after Scott looked up an issue or two, one that significantly changed the end of the game. I had made a play, with my hyperfocused aspect of my ADD in full effect (yes some ADD can have hyperfocus), so much so to the exclusion of some important data - I was so focused on stealing/exchanging one of my Keepers for one of his, that I was not looking at the two Goals that were in effect, and whether or not what I was considering would affect that. My hyperfocus is like the things horses wear to be kept from seeing stuff off to the side. So, I traded Commissioner Gordon to him for the Bat Signal. It was my daughter's turn next, but because the Bat Cuffs do not (currently) say "on your turn" on them, he hid The Penguin under it, and thus then met winning conditions for a Goal that was out, with Gordon and something else.

Oops! And my daughter had begun rubbing her hands together in anticipation, too. She took the loss well. After he looked up the question about the cuffs, as they did not say on your turn, like some other cards do, and we found out it is supposed to say that, we replayed the endgame, putting Penguin back out. My daughter seemed delighted to get another go. She put down Robin I think, and used his text to get rid of Penguin, with a little instruction from me on how that worked. Then she won, because her two Keepers met the other Goal, with Penguin out of the way, having been the only Villain loose. She was happy, as were we all.

We also found through that research that you can get in an loop with the Batmobile, Batarang, and that the Batmobile is being updated to say it can only be used twice in a row.

My daughter enjoys the doing things to others, and really enjoyed a nice chain on that exchanging Keepers where Scott played Stop That, but I used a Surprise card of my own to foil it. I still feel "D'oh" about all that effort, and I almost handed him the win. She did notice that this version of Fluxx, from the New Rule cards she was seeing, seemed a bit more complex than Star Fluxx. I wouldn't say the game is complex, but I feel it's got a little more to it, it's why it may fire Star Fluxx. We will see if the difference between the two might leave her preferring the little bit simpler Star Fluxx, sometimes.

That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about Fluxx.

Snake Oil: Elixir is fun, though I'm not sure if the mix of words is as good as the base game. I've only played the base game once, but no one, even the several shy people, seemed to struggle nearly as much as we did in our couple of plays with Elixer. I looked at one hand of my daughter's, she did play both times, and it was horrible. I had a hand of Flesh, Hole, Treadmill, Chip, Dungeon, Rodeo. Come up with something PG for a Hippie, out of that, I challenge you. No way my daughter would get a munchies reference, and I'm so naive about that stuff I only learned that people who do marijuana get the munchies, and that even the word munchies is associated with that apparently, I only learned that a year or two ago. I've used the word munchies all my life. Anyway, I played Treadmill Hole, because a Hippie would just as soon want to chuck a Treadmill . . .maybe. lol.

However, we had some good play out of this, I sold a Marshmallow Poncho to Bigfoot. My daughter sold a Germ Hoodie to a Gladiator. My husband sold a Gossip Antenna to a Fortune Teller.

Now we come to Firefly: The Game. We read a bit to prepare, and printed a couple of player aids. Still, inevitably got a minor thing or two wrong. We had a blast, though it took 4.5 hours and we were up all night New Year's Eve.
From gallery of sarebear62


The last 45 minutes, though, we got as much done as the previous 90 minutes, because everything was clicking. Even if I was getting a little punchy from being up all night. Learning when the next person can start on their turn is confusing. What if I'm Considering on my first action, if they started flying and I was going t o fly second action, tand they drew safe cards and I then drew bad ones from same deck, that doesn't seem fair. It's clearer to let their turn start if I'm Considering as second action, though.

One thing for noobs: don't forget to shuffle Nav decks. We'd shuffled everything else, and apparently forgotten to shuffle these. I got the Reaver on my first move and he got the Cruiser on his first move. I did, however, happen to roll Thrillin' Heroics twice in a row, so I was good. Well, I disgruntled my Captain so I wouldn't have to lose the Pilot I'd picked up atthe Space Bazaar where I started.
From gallery of sarebear62


There was one particular "moseying" where, just the way my husband said it, just immersed you in the 'Verse. It was awesome.

I've read since the game, most people go for the higher distance ships, but I was short of money for a good while, maybe cause I had a nice but big, costly sorta crew going, so I went for the no fuel 4 distance one. That crew made my misbehaving sweet, though. I forget the name of my Captain, he can get you firearms and explosives half off, has some fight, and maybe a tech. I got a minor pilot, yolanda, late game switched to Inara, a medic eventually fired to save money, Kaylee took his place fairly late. I had Jane 90 minutes in, and his hat not long after. Never used it, though. I got a big three fight laser you needed tech to carry, and a two fight gun. I had so much fight for much of the game I didn't even need to roll. Had 3-4 tech, a bit of negotiate.

My crew sucked up alot of pay, 1100-1200 much of the game. (Inara and Kaylee came so late they never needed to get paid, I sold off 3k worth of loose cargo picked up in interesting ways) even coming in negative by 100 on one of my starter jobs. But it got me Solid, so, yeah. I don't get Aamnon?'s ability. I can see it's probably supposed to help you make alot, but unless jobs let you UNLOAD as many as you want, and there's enough of these jobs that let you pick up from where his ability is in effect, which I am not clear on that either, for you to take advantage of this, it seems iffy. But there's so much I don't know, yet. Perhaps that's exactly the case.

From gallery of sarebear62


The small engine only hurt me at the end (photo finish, he got there just before me), tho granted that's important (ya think? Edit). Much of the time we couldn't fly max. Oh, I got ignore breakdowns partway through, because getting hit with three breakdown cards in a row earlier made an impression, lol. With my engine needing no fuel, I was tempted to ditch the little I had, but glad I didn't because late game I needed it for a Crazy Ivan against the Reaver. Whew I kept a parts, in case there was something else I didn't know. Crybabies came in handy a couple times for me, and Sctt learned from that and installed one, and it saved his bacon, too.

We probably did too much of the, get $200 from a planet action, but the first half of the game we were so poor, me especially. I don't know if gthis slowed the game. It was always quick, actually.

And now, P.I.. This one is a nice deduction game. However, my illnesses impacted our game and interaction quite a bit, here, possibly because I wanted things to be a certain way, and absolutely LOVE deduction. I realize now my OCD was in hyperdrive. It's really awkward to talk about. I have some adjusting and personal work and stuff to do, about this.

We got the game from Tanga for $8 or so. I wonder if that means it was a print run with issues. See, our board, it snapped at a seam within a few back and forths after coming out of the box, and the rest of that seam (the seam going down the middle of the board ends in the middle of this seam) looks ready to bust doon, too. Another seam looks it from the top, and a seam looks stressed from beneath the board. They look very tight, not enough allowance for folding, maybe, so it's stressing it out. Poor job at the factory, then. I'd be really mad if I'd paid more, but the game was NOT listed as a second, or anything. So, Treefrog Games is perhaps going to not easily get my business in future.

It was fun if you set aside the OCD stuff. In other words, the game itself seems to be fun, though I wonder, for two, if those with lucky guesses, or not having the cards you need come out, can really tip things too much. I had read this, and that three rounds is supposed to compensate, and I did find that the really differing distribution of the "no crime" and "no suspect" tiles each round, really did change how each round played, combined of course with the fact that you are working a different case. One game is too few to see, but a few more plays should help, if I haven't burned that bridge. I don't think so, but I need to relax and work on some stuff (not that countering OCD is as easy as just "relaxing", but, yeah)

I did get to see how choosing different cards, blocked the other guy (in this game), from being able to use it to check for what they needed, either that specific piece of info, or checking to see if there was anything close or not. "No's" could sometimes be really informative, so if you use a card someone needs to check things out, that's something to consider. In a two player game it didn't come up much, but it would with more. Some may not like 2 player as much for that reason, among others. If you pick a card purely to block, you might be taking away from other things you could be checking. Unless you use one that accomplishes both. But, at least in a two player game, by the time you know enough to have some idea what things would be useful to ypur opponent, you generally have some of your own info nailed down, and partially nailed down.

Anyway, I hope we pick this up again by mid-January. But I won't push it.


Eye of Sa(Ra)


COGZ has caught my eye. It's colorful, it's Steampunk, if you like Tsuro you will likely like this, but this has a bit more to it, and is beautifully done. One really interesting thing being, that when you place a tile, you pick one up to replace. So you also consider tiles you want or need. Cogz and mechanisms on the board can eventually become locked, though, which is thematic, and means you won't always have free choice of any tile.

I am really, really picky about abstracts, but this one fits my craving for visually, colorfully stimulating, my love of twisty, windy, path-making things, Steampunk, with mechanics for the game that fit the theme, so while it's not deeply thematic, it's at least more so than most abstracts . . .

Islebound is one I am looking forward to, and the designer is from here in Utah. Pirate theme, Ryan Laukat, a variety of things to do in the game, like taking over ports, getting knowledge, using that for various things, Sea serpents, buildings to build with benefits, crew to hire, and stuff. This is on the longer end of games I consider (well, Firefly is kind of outside that, even).

With two, hopefully not over 90, once you know it, and sometimes less. Otherwise it'd feel like two hours of doing the same things, even within the variety. For two, for me, in a game like this, there's a sweet spot . . . I worry That even eventually Firefly might get old, but you are building equipment, money, crew. If it takes an hour to only progress a tiny amount, though . . .Still, we were new. I guess I am saying, for two players, at what point does it cross over from building your engine and economy, to feel like you are running on an endless treadmill with two, especially since you tend to tip over th threshhold into the endgame state fairly quickly . . .at least, some games. That's something I am concerned with. But I like building and developing crew, money, economy, or some other set of variables. It takes time, though, and probably excessive time when new to it, especially with my issues. And with both of us new, and we think differently, and so have different types of things we'll get stuck on in the rules, it can magnify the problem. Patience is key. Bit of a side trip here, but it's my blog.

Evolution

I've found this interesting. It looks really fun, and has been described by a designer as a sandbox. One shouldn't let an initial suboptimal game form your entire impression because of the cool nature of how the ecosytem in the game works. Your game is going to, I hear, play rather differently depending on what and how the other players do and play throughout the game, and you as well, and the interactions between your species. Adapting is good. Vital. Thematically and strategically vital, at least, it seems to me, from what I've been reading.

Another thing. I wrote the following in response to a thread about them maybe doing different colored cubes for different parts of the species board, I think; I decided I'd gone on too much about my own stuff, and decided it would fit better here on the blog, where I've already discussed my sensory issues. Having the visual cues of the two different colors of cubes would be great for me.

"Plus,some people are very visually cued by color; I recently realized that I have sensory issues, and it was a ightbulb moment. That's why I live in my head, too much sensory stuff! But other things, most relevantly here being, I am very visually stimulated by color. Colorful visuals, sometimes intensely vivid, or if more subdued, but well-done and extremely pleasing artistically, visually . . .anything visually stimulating. Even black and white, depending on the contrast, or the visual impact . . .but it's all very visual, for me. Color or contrast is a helpful cue for learning or memory or anything. Some people are more visual, maybe, whether they have sensory issues or not, so a change like this can be useful for people who process that way.

The art, in this game, is another thing that drew me in, because of how I am, though I didn't consciously realize until now. Still new to the understanding that aspect of myself."

Sometimes I discover stuff about myself as I write or type, like I did there. I am considering Kickstarting the next expansion, plus base game if it's available as an option, for my birthday coming up. Though my husband's out of work, I was given some money for Christmas to spend on me. Depends how things go. There's something. else I've had my eye on for awhile, coming out in February, that's calling to me. I'll save it until next Eye.
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Mon Jan 4, 2016 6:08 am
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Games played Dec 13 - 18, Goodbye Lcg's, Motor Mayhem & Car-nage, Apple of My Stay Puft Captain Kirk, Training Nordic Style, Statistically Abnormal Deer

Sara Bear
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Saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens Thursday night. So good, though not perfect, but so good! Imagine all the bad and so-so games that are going to be based on this. Hopefully some great ones, that are casual gamer- friendly. The FFG ones are rather intimidating, and take up alot of space.

As far as LCG's, we enjoyed Android: Netrunner, but can't keep up with buying more, and building new decks over and over. That part used to attract in theory, but in practice, it turned into, we have to play this "game" before the game, on our own time, and wait for the other one to have done it, which usually entailed me pestering him as to whether or not he'd used to online deckbuilder to make one or two, and save the lists. Since I don't want to be a nag (it's going to happen sometimes, but if the deckbuilding felt like a chore, the game needed to ie, for us. Shame, tgough, it was really fun.) I haven't listed it for trade yet as I have to nail down the exact expansions, and am not prepared for a possible deluge of trade requests on this popular game. I haven't listed all owned expansions, either. I don't think. I may get a few offers from people reading this. But maybe not a deluge.

If we ever run across a game that doesn't have the high volume of buying of Lcg's, in a theme or workd or IP we like, and has much easier deck creation, and is fun . . .I bet companies are trying to crack that nut (though might still overpump out product . . .)

Alright, that trip brought to you by thoughts of FFG's Star Wars LCG. I will not always link a game, if I don't think the discussion enough to blip the radar of people following that game. Balanced against the need of people reading my blog to have convenient links. However, BGG also has a search box at the top. This is my reasoning.

On to gaming!

We started off with Car Wars: The Card Game. We'd first played this in August when my brother came from Ohio and brought it. He picks up a number of things at Origins. My daughter, who loves games with take that, well so far in her limited experience anyway (fun kinds of take that, themey like in this game, or chaos like in Free Parking. Those are thematic too, some of them, but some are just pure chaos.), instantly wanted the game. Even though our initial game, where we only played one round, but we were all learning it, four players, dragged on far too long because it felt like the last two people kept drawing protections for the right things . . .(I hate Smokescreen!), we stillbought it for her for her birthday this fall, because getting her to play games is difficult, so if she wants one, we'll jump. And, one play didn't mean it was always going to play that way.

A note about the photography: phtos taken during games, especially during games with my daughter, are more hurried than those taken other times. I apologize for these, as well, it was before I had figured out a few things, too. You aren't going to be able to read the smaller text on the cards except in the Paint Spray play. That's the only cool play I'm showing, anyway. I'll try to do better pics in future, I've since started using a mix of the camera and the tablet. The camera won't get as wide a shot and it's harder to do a few things, but the quality is so much better, often those few other things are pointless on tablet. So, I'll mix it up, but frustrated with limitations of both.
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My daughter only has patience for one round of this game. According to the rules, you play until a certain number of points, and people can escape, or use ejection seat card, thoough these tactics give points to others, in order to avoid being eliminated. However, Since my daughter won't play multiple rounds, we will be taking Ejection Seat out. We have played four times now. Elimination down to one winner has happened as soon as 6 or seven minutes with 2 players, or gone as long as 34 minutes with 3, this time, but I was taking pictures, which added a few minutes.

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That machine gun on my left has one of its damage shots tucked under me I think. Scott just fired 5 points of Autocannon at my Front, which you can see on my car has 12 damage it takes to get breached. It is fine at 11, but 12 breaches it. On the turn that breaches, damage above and beyond the breaching is lost, and doesn't go toward damging the driver. On subsequent turns, more damage at the breach will do that, up to 5 points, at which time you are eliminated. Here, I react to the autocannon with up to two front armor cards. Two armor is allowed; before this game play we had not realized that. No wonder play would drag on. Armors were meant to sometimes be played in multiples. You see that I have 1 more armor than damage is being done. I don't get to keep that. These prevent all the damage, and all three get discarded.

Now, there ARE times armor will stay, as you'll see later.
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Scott, about to be breached, as I had just played a missile on his right that puts him over the 12 damage there. When you are breached, you turn the pile over, backs up, next to the area. You'll see that later.
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My daughter had just played a Spin which gets discarded, in reaction to the frontal attack that is now on her right. It lets you move the damage to an adjacent side to where the initial attack was, and since left would have breached (the bottom, not visible card there is high damage), its what I would have done
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Ramming 4 damage just played on Scott, with him playing an Armor 3. Since it didn't take care of it all, one point damage stays, both cards stay. Technically, you are supposed to place the armor card so it covers the damage spots it is mitigating, but we just add and subtract at the end.. and as we go. We keep bumping things. I might try to see if I can keep them lined up better in future. I hadn't remembered this, either. Only played 4 times, and my daughter doesn't want to be that finicky. But teaching her to work WITH the game systems and rules, and deciding when to back off and be more relaxed . . .knowing she will need to learn to follow instructions in the world, so there is that, but on the flipside, this is HER game, and she's playing it for fun. So, balancing when to teach, and when to pull back. Special needs, balancing this for teens, for a 17 year old, is hard.
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Scott played a 6 pt flamethrower, I reacted with an Armor first, as Armor must come first, and a Paint Spray, which meant he had to Play a Swerve or suffer consequences. As you see, he did. Darn it.
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How I was eliminated. I had been breached previously. This damage did me in. My husband Scott had also been mercilessly and gleefully destroyed by our teenager.it just takes 5 to take you out, as the driver, if you are breached.

Next, Apples to Apples: Party Box Expansion ONE and Apples to Apples: Party Box Expansion TWO. We have a big Party box so I am guessing it's both these expansions in one.

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We make some fun family memories playing this, and one always gets mentioned when my daughter sits to play. With all my anxieties, depression, etc., a game that gets us laughing and such is a good thing. I do feel guilty that we are occasionally laughing at people . . . But we are laughing at juxtapositions, and the context of the game, not so much at people. Maybe that's splitting hairs, but it feels the case in this next example. Something I'd not say or do, or feel like laughing at them if I saw them, it's not funny. But in the game, the moment, the juxtaposition, spontenaeity . . .it came out hilarious.

So . ..the word/card Puffy comes out. I'm the judge. Scott and my daughter place cards. Before I look, I rattle off a couple ideas, I don't usually do this, but then bam, out of my mouth without even thinking . . .William Shatner. We all crack up. So . .seriously, it's just free association, there, and I don't feel like laughing when I see him. Some do, many mock him. I am plus size myself. It's just, the juxtaposition was funny, the spontaneity. I am a bit puffy myself.

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I reconsidered what to play on Phony, because of my daughter. I wanted to play Psychiatrists (I've had some unethical and otherwise challenged ones), but I didn't want to negatively affect my daughter's opinion. Not sure how much weight she'd give me playing that combo, so I chose the Pond Scum card, instead. She can be too literal, but isn't always, or even often. Still, didn't want to prejudice her, since it's an important potential relationship she might have later on.

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Scott won the first game, I won the second, with most of those in the last photo. Lots of laughter thumbsup and good times. About 20 minutes per game.

Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries was next, but my daughter was done playing games, so it was Scott and I.

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We use some player aids and information we printed from the files section of this game's page here on the Geek, that you see in the photo, for keeping things straght between TTR versions. We have Nordic, the Swiss/India set, and the TTR app. We've played Europe with a brother-in-law who has it. The page that lists all the differences between sets, except the newest, Pennsylvania/UK, has been really useful, especially when reading discussions about the various TTR's that get discussed all over. Having at least seen some of the special rules, I'm not entirely confused during these discussions.

There a setup guide, that I had to enhance. Maybe they thought a few things went without saying, but if I'm using a guide, I don't want to have to think about anything. Then a little square chart for each of us, with the specific special rules for Nordic. There's a couple more, uncut, but we don't get much chance to socialize.

Since some days the barrier to getting a game out and playing, is remembering stuff, what do I do, etc, making things easier is good, especially with as many conditions as I have. However, one could overdo it. We'll

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Printed tuckboxes, on cream cardstock, I forget what weight. Again, from the files area here on BGG.Two for train cards, one of those flipped over, as well as the route/globetrotter one, flipped the side that each shows what is in it. They all look like the other box on the other side, very nice.

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This game, we each chose to keep all 5 of our initial route cards. Though that worked out for me I was quite scattered and think I'd have been better off with three. I had a couple clustered in the southwestern tunnels side of the map. None of my extra drawing for cards forced extra cards needed, but I had to either plan for some in reserve, or risk it with just enough. I did both, at various times.

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Scott almost locked me out of one city on the right. He ended up not finishing one route, it wasn't high points, but still hurt. My 6 train route on the left was worth a ton! I got that early and just kept going. Won, 107 -59. 40 minutes, with including setup and pictures. I enjoy this game, but feel bad when I win by alot. I think the hard routes with tunnels were worth alot, though . . .

Next, a couple games of a quickie, Trophy Buck.

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A retheme of Zombie dice, we don't have any interest in the theme, didn't want zombies, but were interested in gameplay. This was before another retheme existed, Dino Hunt Dice. I'll get better photos at some point.

I won one, Scott won one. One game, we had alot of weird rolls, and by that I mean, we'd get a deer, a startle, a point, so take two more dice out of the bag, pick up the startle, and it rolled as three startles. This happens, in any game, but it happened about five times at least, something close to it, that game. And a couple other statistical anomalies. Which, statistically speaking, can happen, on any roll, but it was a strange game. So we'd set aside points or make decisions about pushing lick, based on what usually happens, but that game . . . The usual decisions didn't pan out. Things evened out eventually. It's a fun, quick game.

After that, we played a round, just one, of Lost Cities. We hadn't pulled this out in almost two years. I won, 71 to forty something, and had forgotten what a nice, quick almost palate cleanser or closer this can be. The scoring can be a bit of a pain, which is why, after 6 other games of things, which is alot for us, we only played one round. On another night, we might play more, as it's so quick, and scoring isn't horrible, but we were winding down and at thst point, one was just right. It's like sometimes you want a 20 ounce soda, and sometimes the mini 8 oz size is just right.
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Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:33 am
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