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Gaslands Refuelled: Vintage Disney

Sara Bear
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I've been looking at trying Gaslands: Refuelled for 4 or 5 years. Well, Refuelled is an update from last fall, but looking at Gaslands in general.

With the changes in my gaming this year, how often I game, how much new vs/old/tried and true I'm doing, the therapeutic value of games with some kind of toy-like experience to them, like Funkoverse Strategy Game, I checked on this game again, and the Kindle version of the rules was on sale for $1.99, being usually between $11 and 20 somewhere.

I am going through figuring out and processing some repressed childhood trauma, and play is a language that really works well for me, and I've been discovering through some play therapy just how useful and therapeutic it can be. I am playing much more new to me than usual; I generally play variety anyway, but learning something new is, or feels, more distracting to me from intense stuff, than when I think about an old favorite. I have been challenging that thought/perception, though, by pulling out a few favorites lately.

Still, I am trying not to judge my pull to new new new, because I'm trying to go with how I feel a lot lately, in helping myself through this difficult, intense stuff.

Gaslands Refuelled is quite fun, at least as far as I got, anyway (more on that near the end). I didn't play with the several Wonder Woman cars I've picked up in the last couple years with Gaslands in mind; I went with a couple of Disney cars I picked up, because I felt so connected to younger me when I picked up and drove them; healing experiences for young me are quite important, so again, I went with what I felt, which doesn't come naturally to me as an overthinker.

I also chose a pair of VW-ish Beetle cars, because the learning scenario has two teams, each with one car and one buggy. Though these Punchbuggies were larger than the Disney cars, I used them as the more lightweight Buggy for each team, because it would have been a clash in my mind to counteract that and go opposite of the natural fit for those. My daughter game me these Punchbuggies out of herr small collection of special ones she'd saved from her childhood; she seems more connected to the ones she kept, so I dont feel badly.

===========================
I printed and cut out the templates, and a couple of dashboards for each team. I printed out the quick reference, but I'm going to have to make my own (see near the end for more discussion).

I thought about what to use from around the house to represent the start, finish, and obstacles on the track, and I decided my beading supplies, which I've stored away as I need to sort through and move on 2/3 of it, would have things to use. I've made a selection of things, some not used in this game, to keep in a drawer with the cars, for buildding hedges, fences, rocks, and things in future.

====================
Here's the starting lineup of Team Jumbo/Dumbo against Team Gepetto/Pinocchio (Punchbuggies are playing the parent in this scenario).

From gallery of sarebear62


The starting line is a netting seed bead bracelet I made when I was new to beading. I chose silver lined seed beads for the picots on the outside edges of the netting; the silver lining inside tarnishes; eventually I'll remake the bracelet, as it feels and looks awesome on, but I'll need a magnifier first as my eyes aren't what they used to be . . .

From gallery of sarebear62


An almost racer's eye view of the course. Oh, I need to say that each vehicle is armed with a forward mounted machine gun (which no one was ever in range of, I don't think) and two handguns, as each vehicle had two crew, a handgun for each. The handguns have a 360 degree firing arc; the FMMG has only forward. You get 2d6 per machine gun.

From gallery of sarebear62


This is a destructible obstacle as far as the game goes; it's a flower hedge that I was going to have each half need to be destroyed to remove it entirely; if one half got pasted, I'd just fold the thing in half. The bracelet I used has been in a bag to be repaired as the beading thread broke after some wear; you might see the thread poking up.

From gallery of sarebear62


Another destructible object; there's a rosebush on the course! What's a Disney race without flowers and birds?

From gallery of sarebear62


A sterling silver finish line! Handmade for me by my husband of tiny sterling silver jump rings, in the euro 4-in-1 chainmail pattern. A few years later, I developed a nickel allergy, and this bracelet is not nickel free. It serves as a fancy finish line, though!

The other obstacles are trees, a cow statue, and a big purple crystal rock. These are represented by jars of colored beading thread, a black and white stone pendant, and a small container of primitive amethyst sticks, which not long into the game I started using to count who had gone, and for which gear phase. One stick meant they'd gone for gear one, two meant they'd gone for gear two, etc. I will likely use these or an equivalent in future games.

==============
Raring to go, Team Elephant won the roll for Pole Position, and started first.
From gallery of sarebear62


Dumbo goes a straight medium length, choosing to use the shift for being a trivial maneuver to shift upwards (I forgot to add a hazard token to each car's dashboard when doing that, but catch it soon enough in the game I can figure out who has what (partly from looking at the photos of the moves they made/templates used)).

This is important because the last thing on a turn is checking to see if you wiped out, which you do if you have 6 or more hazard tokens; ANY vehicle with 6 or more wipes out, if they meet that condition, during the wipeout phase of any vehicle's turn. (Collisions and things can have you gaining hazard tokens even when you aren't taking your turn in the race.)

From gallery of sarebear62


Gepetto takes a curve to Dumbo's left, and . . .

From gallery of sarebear62


shoots at Dumbo! Walt is turning over in his grave. However, Karma can be quite fitting . . . stay tuned!

Gepetto shoots both handguns; the template is shown to check range with. You get 1d6 for each handgun, and Dumbo gets to try to evade with one die per gear level, and is currently in second gear. A 4 or higher hits, a 6 critical hits for 2 damage. You need a 6 to evade a hit. Gepetto here makes a total of 3 hits, with one normal and 2 for the critical hit; Dumbo evades none of them.

Damage is marked on the dashboard.

Jumbo goes; I didn't take pictures of everything, even though it feels like it! Everyone ends in 2nd gear after their 1st move off the starting line, and the resulting hazard token for each shift up will be corrected later.

From gallery of sarebear62


Pinocchio did a low speed hairpin turn to the right, and then fires both handguns at jumbo, making one normal hit. Jumbo fails to evade.

====================================
Dumbo, then Gepetto, then Jumbo go, each shifting gear up to 3 (hazard token for each them corrected later), from using a trivial maneuver off their template for the move they made. You get a free shift icon, as if you'd rolled the shift dice (which rolling gives you shifts at the equivalent of 4-6 on a d6, slide, spin (one of those is at 3, on at 2, I forget), and 1 is take a hazard token. You also take a hazard token if you can't eliminate doing a slide or spin. Sometimes it may be advantageous to slide or spin, though! Shift lets you shift up or down and take a hazard, get rid of one hazard token, or eliminate a spin or slide result you rolled.)

From gallery of sarebear62


Pinoccho made a hairpin turn; he was not able to get a trivial maneuver shift.

One question I have is, can you use trivial maneuver shift icons to, instead of shifting, get rid of a hazard token? Because the times I did roll the shift/hazard dice, I never got enough to deal with the hazard results, let alone remove hazard tokens I already had.

======================================

From gallery of sarebear62
Dumbo's third move was a nice curve to round the end of the flower hedge; I rolled shift dice and ended up spinning. You have choice in how much you spin it in this case; I spun to face the finish line, rather than go the direction the end of the curve had me facing without a spin. Sometimes spinning or sliding can be advantageous! Though you do gain a hazard token for it. More than 1, if you get multiple spin hazards (not sure if the same is true for slides).

From gallery of sarebear62
Gepetto saw the downside of sliding . . . waay way down to the bottom of the Cliffs of Sanity.

From gallery of sarebear62


Gepetto's feeling a little down . . . .

From gallery of sarebear62


Here we have another slide that is a close shave for Dumbo's mother! She almost slid into a tree!

From gallery of sarebear62


Pinocchio comus up on the right rear-ish of Dumbo, and fires off a pair of handguns. He doesn't hit, but perhaps he was distracted by the fantastical aerobatic maneuvers he must've made to get three 6's to unquestionably evade every possible combo of hit except for two crits.

=========================

From gallery of sarebear62


Dumbo attempts a move, rolling some shift dice, and ends up backwards and with 6 or more hazards, and so wipes out, moving forward into the flower hedge obstacle (which would have that half destroyed, now) . . . Between the move, figuring out how I wanted to use the dice results I got, and so doing the move & roll, spin, wipeout, and collision (which at this point I was looking up a ton about wiping out and collisions and destructible objects and the damage you do to it and it does to you), I felt my brain just going . . .. I'm done, had enough, it's a therapy day and you've gone as far as your brain had legs for.


From gallery of sarebear62


I fought the feeling for a minute or two but, in the same vein of trying to recognize what I'm feeling more, and go with it when appropriate, I did just that soon enough.

Plus, printing and cutting the stuff took time/energy, as did finding, sorting through, and selecting materials for use in the course. I had several hours of fun, though! (I'm not the speediest person).

==============================

There were a couople times during the game that i looked at the Quick reference sheet I'd downloaded and printed, and thought (after checking the kindle version manual) that with just a couple more words and a number, they could have improved the usefulness of the reference.

I don't remember what these were but I'll be making an improved reference for myself, possibly a double-sided sheet with collision, weapons, attack and smash attack stuff, on the back.

There are also other advanced rules, but I'm not ready for those yet. I do appreciate that the collision and final position/final interrupted position sections, and things like that, have multiple examples and explanation, as with the numbers of situations you could potentially get into, that could be really helpful.

The moment when I felt this game had me, as I was reading the rules, was The Carnage Rule, which is something like, if there's an unclear situation, make the choice that causes the most carnage. That suits me to a T.

I feel like ethe rules were laid out decently to fairly good, for much of the basic game stuff. I do feel like there's a couple things that you will ending going back and forth a lot; flipping back and forth, in physical copy parlance. I used the search function to help with finding some things, but I think the player aid I'm going to make, will help me more. I also might make an index for the book (note to self, go into the kindle book and see if it has one), because of the, for one or two things, you have to look in multiple places..

I feel like they did a decent job of putting much of what should go together, togetther, in a fairly logical order of learning. I've seen much worse! I just need to improve things a little bit, for my needs.

Probably way more than anyone wanted to know about my playthrough, except that it does hit or touch on many of the gameplay basics with this partial game, gives a sense of it.

Some things show better visually, in some ways, like the movement templates. I probably ought to mention the things here that you need to know. There's trivial maneuvers that give you a shift, and hazardous ones that give you a hazard token. It depends which move template you are doing, in which gear. At some gears, some moves aren't available, Of the ones that are for a particular gear, some will be safe than others in that gear. Some will give you the shift opportunity.

I also really like, but was occasionally chagrined by, the Use the first move template you touch. It helps prevent AP, and trying things out, but then you try to visualize it without touching them, so I tried to keep that to a minute or less before just picking one, to keep in the spirit. Playing solo, though, you can take as long as you like, if you want.

I love the toy aspect, I love the DIY use what you've got aspect to making a course. I don't have intentions of ever modding or painting cars and stuff, but I could use variouos crafty skills I have in various media, like beads, weaving, knitting, etc, to make stuff. I'll probably mostly keep it to what I have in the drawer of beading stuff I put together, like some wooden barrel beads my dad made me that I still have some of, some cheap (way too cheap for me to want to wear it, not sure why I bought it) chains that might make good fencing/course guides/barbed wire stand ins, and other things.

Anyway, I intend on playing more, though I am not sure if I'll get to making an improved player aid soon or not.
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Sat May 9, 2020 4:59 am
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Fogging with a Gaming Brain (Gaming with Brain Fog)

Sara Bear
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A BGG friend sent me a link to this article today.

http://islaythedragon.com/featured/gaming-with-a-foggy-brain...

I was excited to see someone else writing about this kind of thing (though of course never excited to see someone else has to experience unfun health issues, though I know of course that's just part of life.)

There's a lot we agree on and some things I differ, but I would imagine part of it is your preferences mixed with the health issue, and how it affects you, and the cause being different, can sometimes mean it's causing some sometimes subtle differences from how a different condition might, as brain fog can be caused by a number of things. I don't mean to sound like I'm judging what she wrote, when I say I agree, or disagree. I'm not judging, it's just from my perspective of what's worked better than other things, as I'm sure is the same for her and why she says what she does. This is one reason I'm glad to see more people talking about this, because more perspectives gives a fuller view of the experiences, issues, problems, solutions, depending on the mix of symptoms you have.

Also, keep in mind about me that:

Quote:
My own combination of issues, health stuff, etc., is affecting everything I say, so you may notice a hefty helping of sensory things added in, since those are a great thing for me, anyway, and can be for others, sometimes. Health issues, being autistic spectrum, and stuff, can also make you oversensitive to some things, so you figure out what works for you. Or figure out if there are things I am not addressing, because I either haven't thought of it, experienced it gaming wise yet, or it's not been part of my life or health experience, yet. Or because my issues skew things certain ways. Please comment about anything, but especially these types of different things related to gaming that you want to contribute!

Memory issues are both part of the fog, and their own thing, too. Memory issues will be it's own whole post sometime.

Also, I'm using a portable keyboard, that keeps adding a t to but, and some other things, so if it seems like my typing is atrocious, that's why.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional, nor ever played one on tv.
Don't take my, or tv doctors', opinions, feelings, statements, as medical advice or recommendations. Your doctor can do that for you.


I thought the article was great, and wanted to respond with my thoughts on all the categories she mentions, and maybe add some things of my own, or related stuff.

The part where she goes, "Squirrel", is so me, and in fact we use that quote from UP, I think it is, all the time.

PLAY LIGHTER FARE

I agree with everything she says here. I have another option or two besides this, which I will get into after reacting to all her topics.

PLAY QUICK GAMES, OR GAMES THAT CAN BE PAUSED AND RESUMED LATER

Definitely a part of what I do. I would add, here, that games with the lowest barrier to entry, to playing, and a little less so, putting away, are the best here, as the fog gets more and more. So easy to learn or refresh rules. When possible, the most elegant, low ruleset game design possible, for your heaviest fog where you are still up for a game. I find NMBR 9, Timeline: Inventions (that's the only Timeline I have), Knot Dice, War (many say it's not a game but if you want the interaction of gaming without having to think much if at all, it's perfect, especially with a beautiful set of cards, or a license that speaks tto you, like Wonder Woman for me) . . . These are my top super foggy but still want to game, games. With Knot Dice I usually play Book of Kells.

So easy and/or lowest amount of rules, a game without a huge faq, a game that doesn't tend to inspire keyword questions, or card interaction questions (as many deck builders, and LCG type or collectible games like Dice Masters, tend to do, because keyword sprawl becomes an issue), not AP inducing, easy set up and fairly easy take down, though I can set something that needs sorted out, aside until I'm up for it, if I need to, quick playing time, or at the very least, doesn't overstay it's welcome, and probably a game that leaves you wanting more (these tend to be games that don't drag, you almost always want more, depending on how you are physically feeling . . .). Rulebooks are a big thing, here, and from things that look like trends to me, it feels like more publishers are paying more attention to usabilty, accessibility, comprehensability, and other things, in regards to rulebooks. Rulebooks having issues, is probably the biggest reason a game that appeals to me in one, or usually multiple to many other ways, are a no for me.

Basically, I would add everything to do with accessibility that I've said above, and also include repack, organize, or repackage a game in a more accessible way to play, set up, and somewhat to tear down . .. .or whatever works for you.

I added "Another note about Rulebooks" section after reacting to her article.

I could always play Sprawlopolis with only ONE goal, if needed. I usually play with two, because I find three too brain busting burny, even with low to no fog. Give yourself permission to do it how you need, as I know some think house rules are going against the designer. Games are art, yes, but they are also a consumer product, adaptable to your needs and wishes in ways Movies, which are also art, and consumer products, are not. House ruling, adapting games, are all a part of the board game community, despite those who prefer it not. I haven't seen a designer ever say no house rules, though some do say please try it without house rules first (they did put a lot of work into designing/balancing the game!) If it helps you and brings you joy, do whatever you need or want to make it more accessible, and more fitting for you and your situation. That's my philosophy, anyway.

I don't want to start a big discussion about house rules being acceptable or not. For me, they are, and they are a big part of adapting things to the variety of conditions I have. An increasing number of games are being designed with increasing accessibility, however, there's a limit to how flexible they can be, depending on each game's design. It's up to you to see and decide how and if you can fit it to you. Just give yourself permission to. It would increase sales for these people. so I hardly think they'd object. Besides which, once you buy it, you can do as you wish (though I do, myself, try to play it as designed first, unless I KNOW, from other people's reports, that tweaking one or two things would really fix something that would otherwise be a problem that would keep me from buying it). Well, I guess I've said enough, I'm open to some conversation on it. Just be respectful. These are just my feelings and opinions.

STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW

When foggy (and possibly tired, from fibro fatigue, for me anyway) this is a great thing. Though sometimes I am tired without having a bunch of fog, and so I can lay in bed if needed, and read some rules. It's possible other people may have conditions with a mix of symptoms in addition to the fog, and they may wax and wane at least somewhat independently of each other. These rules need to be fairly approachable, though.

There are a rare few games out there I could try new when foggy, like Timeline Inventions, because you can explain the rules in 30 seconds (more like 90, for me, but you can see my problems here), because it's so simple, and intuitive (I just wish they'd come out with a larger version for aging eyes.)

For the most part, though, stick to what you know is the best idea, here. As with any guideline, I'm sure the author knew there are probably a few almost no rules, elegant, intuitive design, light things, like explaining connect four to somebody who'd never played.

GO COOPERATIVE

Seems like a good idea. I've been souring on many cooperatives because of not being different enough from Pandemic, or base rules Flashpoint. It needs to have something distinctive. Thing is, when foggy, the simplest, stripped down cooperatives, are probably the only possible cooperatives when foggy, and it's really hard to get away from Pandemic, or Forgotten Island feel, when you do that. Pandemic the cure, though, with it's diciness, is different enough from base, and simple enough, it still works for me. And we do keep the first two Forgotten games around (my husband loves them, and they'd be easier for me when foggy, even if not my favorite; Desert does add some stuff that might make it different enough for me, I haven't decided yet. Sky looks too thinky for me).

So as with any of these, your preferences (besides various health issues) will inform how well it works for you or not. I'm not criticizing that she didn't put such a disclaimer in her article; I'm just probably being too OCD (I actually have OCD, not doing the casual joking about it people often do on BGG.)

GO SOLO

Great option, with more options in games coming in this mode all the time. Some game designs don't suit it well, but there's plenty of options now, especially in print and play. The 1 player guild on BGG is an AWESOME place, that I don't venture out of much anymore, because it seems much kinder than the rest of BGG.

REMOVE DISTRACTIONS

Yes. If I'm having a hard time even getting a game out to play, then removing distractions is best. However, we live in a small apartment, so I can't just tell people to go to their room. I plan on eventually getting a noise canceling set of headphones; my current padded pair that's not a feature, they are way too cheap, but they still help tone things down for me. The noise clutter, since I need hearing aids, is an issue, as is noise and fibromyalgia makes one sensitive. (If confused, when you need hearing aids, at least for my type of issue, the brain overcompensates and so it over emphasizes cluttery noise, and stuff that just muddles together).

If I have to, I can play some small games on the bed on a board I made out of an old science project board. Often, the small, quick, elegant games I've mentioned elsewhere in this post. I made a cutout for the torso, well a bit of one, so I can snug it up to me in the recliner (not reclined). I have a previous blog post on it somewhere, with pictures.

From gallery of sarebear62


DON'T BUY A LOT OF NEW GAMES

My biggest issue here is mania, not brain fog. Though making foggy purchases isn't a great idea. And no internet for a week after I've had anesthesia.

However, after 15+ years in psychotherapy, I'm self aware in a number of ways that maybe a some people aren't. And with each new game I play, I learn more about what I like and don't like, gameplay wise. I don't get to try new games near as much as other people, so I am still learning, there's a lot of things I haven't tried.

So I'd say not no new games, but they have to be carefully considered. Which is hard to impossible to do when foggy . .. .I've traded for some impulsive things, which still involves shipping money, but I unsubbed from the hot deals forum. I used to buy a couple based on that.

Now, the only hot deals I'm subscribed to is a thread in the 1 player guild, which only very rarely has anything for me.

DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP.

Yes, all good stuff here, and I'll reiterate here, since it seems to fit, what I've said elsewhere, which is give yourself permission to be as flexible as you need/want, as silly and/or playful as you need/want . . . to not be perfect, to not be anything particular . . .I surprised myself with my highest ever score in NMBR 9 the other day when somewhat foggy, but I feel the order the cards come out is part of that. My score was higher than previous highest by 4 points. I might have been able to do even better if I hadn't been foggy, but that's like wishing it never rained. It was a good gaming moment, and it made me happy. The playing with only 2 goals I usually use in Sprawlopolis, is an example of being flexible. I might reduce to 1, as said earlier, if foggier.

PLAY WITH A GROUP WHO UNDERSTANDS

I don't have a gaming group, but when I went to Saltcon a few years ago, the only two times we gamed with others, there was one player present at both. He's a min/maxer. Not someone I want to game with. Playing with him and the guy teaching, is part of why I'll never play Roll For the Galaxy, or anything with that simultaneous phase selection (different from simultaneous action selection) again. Just, no. There's other reasons, so getting over that experience won't make the games much more appealing to me. If it was just that, I'd work through it faster, but I have bigger fish to fry at therapy these days.

However, a third experience had a couple teaching us Castles of Burgundy, but not playing. Which confused me at first, but after processing the Roll for the Galaxy experience, with the teacher competing with us, and the way he was with that, I think it's better for teachers to not play, quite often.

Oh, I forgot another experience with others, that was really kind and healing (I'd had a well my psychologist calls the people's behavior bizarre, experience, that if their behavior hadn't invalidated their actions/opinions/treatment of me from having any weight, it would have been awful, and it wasn't great to experience, but it was powerful to realize it wasn't me, it was them.) The kind and healing experience was shortly after the bizarre, and they were kind, accepting, and understanding.

Find your people. I agree with everything she says here!



++++++++++++++++++++++++
OTHER OPTIONS (as mentioned early in the post, first section of hers I reacted to)

There are some games, that are almost more activities than games. I call them gametivities. I have fun that is independent from whether I score, or whatever. Castles of Caladale is one of these. You could just goof around building without playing the game at all, either, which fits my next suggestion . . ..

Play with game components. I will fiddle with stacking and clicking these deluxe, satiny poker chips I have from a deluxe Pandante set I won (Kept the chips for fun). Sometimes this type of play is inherent in a game design, like Get Bit, where you are pulling off arms and legs . . . I think dexterity games might fit here, and being more flexible in your notions of playing; feel free to play a dexterity game by yourself (unless player interaction is so high that's not feasible), and see how long you can go . . It may be the clatter and crash might irritate you, depending on if you get irritable when foggy, which I sometimes do, but part of that is from being bipolar, and part of that is from other things, including fibro can make you really over-sensitive to sttuff sometimes, or migrainey, or on the verge of it . . .so you figure out what works for you.

Pull out some cards with stunning game art, like the cards in Wingspan, Herbaceous, Evolution, whatever floats your boat. Just looking through them can brighten your day, if you are too foggy to play.

Make sure you have a zip loc to put them back in when done, if you can't have the game box right with you; foggyness has me losing SO much stuff, it needs to have a place. If you need to create a place for things you do when foggy, to get put back where they go later, you can do that too, and create a routine and pathways in your head, so you don't lose things. Pulling things out of games to enjoy is something I do, so it's not novel; things that are new to my routine and life, like when I first got a fitbit, it would be lost almost before it was out of my hands, because I didn't have a place it would always go when charging (I didn't have charging it as a routine in my head either, so it was new), or a place it would go when taking it off to let my skin breathe or when it was sweaty after exercising . . . I have found that once something gets integrated into my life, with an organized way of managing it, some might even say a bit ocd, if they don't understand how you can lose things as easy and automatically as you blink . . once something is integrated, then it works better for me.

Any mazy pathy game, just put tiles or whatever it is down, enjoying how it looks as the paths form, maybe even tracing them with your finger (my therapist has given me some celtic knot art things to color and trace; I have Knot Dice, and if I'm too foggy to even play thee game, I can just make designs, or look at, fiddle with, and enjoy the dice, as they are absolutely gorgeous. Basically, you don't have to actually PLAY something. Just noodle around with it.

Take some fun photos of a very few game bits, perhaps in a funny way, like doing the Beatles' walk across that crosswalk (brain fog and other things won't let me pull up what that is actually called). A fellow 1 player guild member had a nice one doing this of Everdell meeples . . . I mention just a few bits, doing something easy, because you can get really involved with arrangements and things. I'm talking one minute with the bits, boom, take a photo, type stuff. Depends on your fog, though. And I'm talking casual photograpy with a point and shoot.

Photographically, I like to mash up bits from different games together, which often doesn't take a lot of bits or effort. Put the conversation bubble meeple bit from Hostage Negotiatior, on top of the epic Goonies meeple from Goonies the Adventure Card Game . . .and that is fun just even thinking about. I'll also mashup various action figures, plushies, collectible figures, licensed objects (like a Wonder Woman keychain would make a fun game piece for some games) with what I'm doing. You have permission to be silly and playful; I feel our society constrains grown ups too much there, or dour/strict parents, or whatever. Silliness and playfulness help me especially when foggy, anxious, and sometimes when depressed.

If you are too foggy to play, just thinking about some fun stuff like mashing up gaming bits, or whatever appeals to you, can be fun. It's okay to muse, daydream, drift on whatever fantastic and weird tangents that occur to you when foggy. I find my brain kind of flows different, making more weird connections between things when foggy, sometimes. It could be fun to see what you think up. Thinking is sometimes very unfun when foggy, though, so it depends on how it affects you. This is almost more a feeling exercise than thinking; feel free to be silly and go with what FEELS fun, whatever gaming ideas cross your mind. Write them down for later, if you wish, as I know I wouldn't remember them. Memory issues are a part of my thing, some short term ones generally.

Sort through your print and play gaming bits if you have them, or gaming bling stuff, or whatever. It can be fun just to do this. If you've been meaning to rebag, or put stuff into dollar store containers, or plano boxes, or whatever, this is something that can be done when foggy. Creating a new organizing system, no, but doing things you'd already planned to, or that you have a plan or something in place for, can work, depending.

Browse BGG. I'm trying to do this less when I am on the lower end of the fog scale, because I can accomplish other things more productively and effectively in this time. I need at least a little low fog time here, though, for interacting at my "best".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ANOTHER WORD ON RULEBOOKS:

Rulebooks NEED to be having few to no issues that most people without disabilities would mention, in order for me to consider a game. I mean, I MIGHT buy a Wonder Woman game with a crappy rulebook, but in that case I am either going to use player made rulebook rewrites, if they exist, or just use the game bits in other games. There's only a couple hypotheticals I might consider buying in this situation . . . which is a big reason my small Kickstartering career has slowed down to a trickle. Even if they say it's going to be a good rulebook, you can't always know. It's a good sign when they emphasize it, but one wonders if some emphasize just for sales, and don't put in the extra effort, resources, money, a good rulebook often needs.

Because I can go months, or even years sometimes, between playing something, it needs to be easy to refresh/relearn, it needs to be easy to pick up and play when brain foggy (to a degree that varies with each games; some games I won't play past a certain level of fog, which is fuzzy because it's not because there's a bunch of sharp and clear fog loves, but one can generalize), partly because being easy to understand rules means the game just FEELS easier to get going in, even if you just played it two weeks ago and are very fresh on the rules.

I think a lot of publishers might not get this . .. the experience of the rulebook is part of how a game feels, and even if I don't need to look in it again when I play it two weeks later, there is always the possibility, especially with my issues . . . so it needs to FEEL like it's helpful, and not a barrier.

I like the trend in Stonemaier games recently (or longer, but I've only been paying attention since Wingspan, so I can't speak to anything before that, but I've closely followed Tapestry for awhile) for including rules aids that the playtesters say you shouldn't need after your first game or two (I'd probably need that level of one for 3 or 4 games) . .. . but it is included ANYWAY, even though it's projected to be a low use item.

Because it helps in LEARNING the game, it helps in the initial EXPERIENCE of the game, rules included, and it helps in how that game is going to go over and be experienced by new players. Or players who are picking it back up after some time (I've been migrainey for 6 or 7 weeks now and have played almost nothing; what I have played is a couple of the quick, super elegant games listed earlier in this wall o text post).

First impressions are huge, and leave a lasting impression, and as I say in the previous paragraph, EVEN if I don't need them after a handful of games, and I keep playing the game say in the next couple months, before multiple conditions decide to attack me all at once again (it happens! 8) ), even in the games where I don't need such a rules aid, it still improves my experience by knowing it's there if I DO need to look at something quick. It increases accessibility, it lowers the barrier to entry, re-entry, and dusting it off a ways down the road, and it eases the mental overhead because I don't worry I have to remember as much . . .

So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE publishers! Consider doing what Jamey does, even if you think players won't need it after a game or two. These things improve the experience of the game even when I don't need them. It's like . . .probably like a movie set where for even some of the smallest possible harms, not life threatening or disabling ones, they still have safety measures in place that probably rarely get used. It improves the experience by being there (not a perfect analogy because generally one isn't going to get physically harmed by board games, but it's the best I could do right now.)


~~~~~~~~

Aesthetic appeal of the game, and how appealing/attractive the theme/mechanics/type of game/gameplay are to me, besides accessibility issues mentioned up above under quick/easy or pause/resume, and another word on rules - I find, for me, with my combination of conditions and symptoms, that I need, in addition to accessibility, that looking for aesthetic, and other sensory if possible, appeal, as well as FEELING that the game just really FITS me, are things that help push me over the fatigue and fog barrier, to actually getting the game out.

. . . dolphins, superheroes, mazes/labyrinth, pathy/route or network building, explore (especially if it involves anything else mentioned here), a sense of discovery, engine building, adventure, a sense of upgrading, of progress . .. . meaningful decisions, I like tension of certain types in some games, so far what I can tell is based around the decisions you make, though games that inspire AP in non-disabled people, are probably a no unless it's something I love and is soloable . . . strawberries, dragons (but I'm excessively picky about dragon games and haven't run across one that suits me, yet, though Book of Dragons might), civilization building (haven't run across one yet that is accessible enough with depth enough, though Tapestry by Stonemaier might be finally, we will watch how people feel about it), my various hobbies of the fiber arts, like knitting, hand dyed yarn, weaving . . .(I don't make hand dyed yarn but it's interesting process and beautiful!), Jigsaw puzzles (is there a game involving these? I know vintage wise, there have been some games on jigsaw puzzles you have to build before you play . .. ) Games with polyominoes, and Castles of Caladale, and maybe some other tile layers, are the closest I can get to that . . .

Anyway there's other things, and defining FITS ME is still a work in progress. But being something I love, helps me get over the combined barrier of brain fog, AND the fatigue that often comes with fibro. Lots of people are tired, from working jobs, having toddlers/babies/kids in general, etc, so publishers increasing accessibility, ease of use, etc, will appeal to much larger of a demographic than just the disabled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, it's not the easiest thing in the world to read. I edited a bit, spaced out some humongous paragraphs into smaller ones . . than before, anyway. There's only so much you can do when you are foggy and tend to chase squirrel tangents a bit (a few were deleted, but you still see plenty).

Thanks if you got this far. Or even partway!
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Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:37 pm
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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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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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