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Archive for The Eye of (Sa)Ra

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Mid-January On my Table, and what I'm currently eyeing

Sara Bear
United States
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From gallery of sarebear62

This month I've been playing The Cave, which is awesome. After several games, I came up with a way to much more easily see your depth and where it changes, as well as ditch using the down 25 tokens, which speeds the early and mid game up, as you are exploring faster then, than later.

From gallery of sarebear62

I cut 2" craft foam squares, in a variety of colors, that I use for depths in a RoyGBiv order, with a lighter shade of red/pink, and a lighter shade of blue/aqua, coming before the deeper shade, white comes first, and grey and black are on the deepest end.

What I do when an explored area meets up with an area higher than it, sometimes multiple 25 foot lengths higher, is I put the rope explore tokens (not the ropes themselves; those you put there when you have actually placed rope, the rope explore ones you take when you've place rope there, so they make nice place holders to help remind you to place rope, and how much) on the edge between the two squares.

I currently only have the depth memorized for the first three or four colors, but eventually I will have it for all. It's easy enough to count down from where I know to where I am, I just don't want to do that every time I pass near a certain way, thus putting out the tokens you have to take after you place rope anyway. It also helps remind to take them, because hitting a difference in depth that isn't from just having placed a descent tile, doesn't have you putting a rope explore token on it like you do then.

I happened into a copy that had the rarer expansion tiles, so I'm very happy.


Also on my table has been The Goonies: Adventure Card Game, Book of Dragons (Year of the Dragon by Daniel Solis), Das Labyrinth des Pharao, NMBR 9, Knot Dice, and Rallyman, given to me by a fellow 1PG member!

From gallery of sarebear62

From gallery of sarebear62

From gallery of sarebear62

Rallyman feels fairly easy to run, despite the rules feeling like a bit much at first, in large part because of excellent player aids. I'm still getting the hang of when to push your luck, how much, and such.

From gallery of sarebear62

A fellow 1 player guild member, gave me the idea to use my music stand for holding said player aids, rule books, and such. I like how it makes good use of space, and I don't feel like they are competing with the game board and bits.

From gallery of sarebear62


I've been trying to play a game a day, and am doing really well at that, and some days more than one.

I've spent some of the money I was given for Christmas, and am looking at other things (it doesn't have to be all games, but I get to buy them so rarely, I tend to often make this sort of thing be spent on games).

What I've bought so far Groves for $28, and Metro for a clearance price of $13. I love how it plays, I just didn't own it yet. Groves, is partly because I'd like to try a bag builder, and haven't yet, and in looking at the soloable ones out there, it suits me the best. Plus I love the theme.


Eye of Sa-Ra

My eye is on several things, some of which surprise even me!

Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance and it's expansion. I watched gameplay and I feel like it kills Reckoners for me. Skirmish games aren't usually my thing, but looking at this one and some past experience combined with this, have helped me figure out a few things.

One, it's because the tactical nature usually means a lot of trying to think through and discarding various options. lots of AP. At least, when playing versus another person.

Two, I don't like skirmishing vs. another person, because it's not that fun, and also gives me AP. I mean, I did have SOME fun in a game or two I tried, it's not the skirmishing itself, though many times it is because and this is probably point three, but it's interwoven with one and two . .

Three - these games generally have a bunch of rules, and often have a variety of edge cases and little rules or exceptions, some of these games go to too much detail to simulate, and those that aren't trying to simulate, are still often going for depth of combat options, or whatever, it is just hearing of one that isn't too abstract, that is thematic, in a theme that appeals, with mechanisms that appeals, is cooperative and not vs., AND IS EASY TO LEARN, TEACH, and generally play, and has some awesome narrative, at least in the campaigns?

I can take some extra setup and teardown for such a rare beast. Basically, this is the first one I've heard of that suits me. I am happy that looking into this has helped me figure out some of the what's and whys of liking/disliking things I've tried in the past.

Next thing I'm looking at is Arkeis. This one is KS, due in December 2020, though one can never count on such things. I am NOT a fan of games with swathes of unpainted minis, however, there are a number of things that have me wanting this game despite that.

One - It has been designed to be family friendly, for ages 8?-10? ish and up. I can tell from how the undead figures I've seen, being partly steampunk, makes them less gross. I can just FEEL the tone they are going for, to still appeal to adults, but not step over a line that kids, or adults who don't want the grimdark stuff, wouldn't go for. FINALLY, one of these narrative, campaign, adventure games, that plays in a nice time frame of an hour, and seems to understand that adults can like, and prefer, things without hard PG-13 and higher stuff in it.

I'm happy people who like grimdark etc, have a variety to choose from. I just wish they would not begrudge people like myself, having something(s), in genres that almost always aren't family friendly anymore, because we want to adventure too.

Two - The narrative looks promising, and I liked how it worked in Slickerdrips' video, though I have mild concern about discerning the icons for what card you are looking for. Not enough to lower my interest, though.

Three - It just looks FUN, and not ridiculously complex to setup, but enough to it that it can change as the scenarios change. And c'mon, steampunk Egyptian stuff? Sounds FUN!

Four - This I can't know for sure, but with the evident (to me) care they have taken in a number of ways, on the tone/family friendliness/atmosphere of the game, I believe when they say they will make it easy to learn and stuff. Not every game that's had apparent attention to detail in many areas, does it with the rules . . . but I'm optimistic. So Four is pretty much just faith, unsubstantiated but, we'll see, I guess.

It just looks FUN, so, despite no standee option. The secondary game bling/accessories market might help there, though. Which I hate to do for a game you are paying for the minis, but they'll never get painted, so . .

Watching that one.

The third and last one I have my eye on, is Merchants Cove. My desire to try mechanisms I haven't, as well as include more of what I like, covers this game pretty well, and I'm glad they made Oracle an expansion, because that's one I don't want. The Alchemist looks neat, the Blacksmith, the Innkeeper expansion, the Time traveler person . ... those are the ones that most interest me.

Yes, one would have to learn new stuff for each character you try, BUT that's also a fun thing, when you are craving new but can't buy a new game . . . with the upside that the rest of the game is the same for everybody, so the mental overhead isn't hopefully nearly as much as learning a whole new game, at least of similar weight/length. AND you don't have to watch other people's boards for anything other than a few things they've color coded to be easy to pick up on, you don't have to know what they do. If you are a min maxer who disagrees, I respect your right to your opinion.

Anyway, I need to watch some gameplay, but I had to stop Rahdo's early because I just can't stand the Oracle.


So it feels like, I have somewhat of a Cult of the Old thing going on. I do feel that going for things with reviews, people reporting their experiences, for some time, is a much safer bet than new, especially Kickstarted, games. One of the big reasons people come to a site like BGG is to research whether a game is good or not, how other people feel about it. And yet, Kickstarter is so big! Though, one of the things it does, is like, say, PARKS is going to kickstart an expansion in February. That game is proven to be good (from my point of view) for me, as well as many other people. So backing something like an expansion for it is less risk, in my mind, than something new. Not entirely safe, but more known than a game no one's played.

So I want to add things that are older if they seem perfect for me, and fill a hole in my collection, or do something in an area I love so much that having several games that do something similar, works for me. Games like The Cave, are probably only going to be harder to get over time.

But, I also have some mechanisms, themes and things I haven't tried yet; my recent posts goes into some of what I'm looking for and why. Sometimes new is a better option than old. I can't think of a family friendly game that does what Arkeis does, that appeals to me as it does, but there could be something I haven;t seen, I suppose.

If I go for any of these newer ones at all, It'll most likely be after they are released. It's possible I may use Christmas plus birthday money on one, especially if I have nothing like it. Arkeis is calling to me there more than Merchant's Cove, because Euros have to be very thematic, or have a lot that really works for me. Commodity speculation does appeal, though I wonder here if it's more like customer speculation, it's not quite the angle I usually think of when thinking of commodity speculation, which is something I feel I will really like . . ..
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Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:52 am
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A New Year, and Christmas Money Burning a Hole in My Pocket

Sara Bear
United States
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Time for new pants! And a bucket of water, my pants are on fire . . .

Okay, so I received two games for Christmas:

Animal Upon Animal: Small and Yet Great!
The Cave

I received some cash, though.

Here's my feelings and thinking about what I'm looking for (besides my solo radar Geeklist).

1. I need to try some more different types of games/mechanisms/whatever, and see what I like, don't like, and why.

2. I need to go for some of the no brainer I'm pretty certain I'd love it, kind of games. They won't be in print forever (for example, something like Factory Funner, had a lot of issues in manufacturing I've heard, before it was gotten right; it's a lot of odd shaped punchboard pieces).

2.a. These games include Factory Funner (& Bigger), Habitats, Healthy Heart Hospital (despite length), Roll Player probably, Explorers of the North Sea

3. I have some thematic holes I'd like to fill in my collection, but if nothing looks suitable right now, something will probably come along later. In some cases, what I might want in those regards, might be an out of print game. Walnut Grove would give me a fun soloable western, as well as worker placement (plus tile laying, which I love.) But it's OOP and high priced.

3.a. themes like dolphins, dragons (rather picky about the art, though, it's what started to sour me on The Mico), various science topics that speak to me like breeding animals or plants for specific traits, geology, Oceans and marine life, Space, celestial stuff, birding (Wingspan got me into it, and I may reacquire at some point), national parks/camping/stargazing/nature, and some other things.

4. I have some specific mechanisms I'm looking for in a game that suits me in both game length/weight/complexity, and is the rulebook good, does the game look appealing (it needs to probably not have art by Klemens Franz, and usually not art by The Mico, but for Explorers of the North Sea, I'll make an exception, as his people art, and a few other things, is what bugs me and most of the art in the game isn't people.)

4.a. I am looking for a bag builder, but Orleans is borderline . . . . it's really lengthy, for one. I've looked some at Groves, but the majority of SGOYT reports tell me gameplay would have issue(s) for me. Some of the same issues people mentioned, though I can't remember them right now. Altiplano is a no, I'd prefer Orleans to it if it came to that. I see a decent number of bag builders in production or being planned, so I'm hopeful something will come down the pike eventually for me. I think there probably isn't something for me right now, but I could be wrong!

4.b. I'd love a city builder. There seem to be a TON of these that kickstarted in the last year or so or are right now or are planned to soon. Thing is, a significant minority of these give the impression to me (and I could be wrong) of people with little to no experience in the board game industry, who want to cash in on the boom with what they guess is a popular theme. Sim City was popular for a long time.

4.b.1 City builders I'm considering are Neom, and Warsaw (there's an unofficial solo variant for that last.) The fact that Neom's disasters, are something people try to find different ways to implement, has me holding off (though the designer has introduced an official variant for them I think), and I'm also worried my mild visual discrimination issues might have a problem once there's more than five or six tiles out. Warsaw . . . I'd like to see if any other 1 Player Guild players try it, but sometimes you have to be the first.

4.c. I'd love a dungeon crawler that really suited me, but there's a lot of things I'm looking for (both for it to have, and not have), and I don't think there's one out there yet, though Terminator Genisys, despite being tactical, actually looks really fun to me, and easy to learn and run, so there's that.

4.d I need to try a racing game. I played Formula D at a boardgame shop on a quarterly meetup day, and had fun. For solo, I'm considering Rallyman; Peloton is a more distant consideration. I'm less sure of this category than a, b, c, though.

5. I'm curious to try another game or two by Vangelis Bagiartakis, designer of my favorite game, Fields of Green, and several Daniel Solis designs have me watching what he does. Conversely, I'm not sure that for Uwe Rosenberg, anything but Fields of Arle, which is arguably too heavy, or maybe Nusfjord or Cave vs. Cave, would suit. I just find what I've seen in other games of his I've looked at, there's something about the way he thinks that doesn't fit well with me with some of how or what he does stuff in games.

5.a. Portal Games is a no, because of previous issues with bad smelling components, and rulebook issues.

5.b. Gamewright is one I look to before many others, because of stellar customer service.

6. Northstar is a game company I like to support, which lends weight to Warsaw (and it has some, but probably not too much, similarity to my favorite game, Fields of Green.) If Oceans, upcoming, were soloable, it'd be a shoe in. I've recently given up on getting anyone to play Evolution with me, though I do use an assortment of cards from it to play other games with (Daniel Solis' Year of the Dragon from Book of Dragons is one, and playing Herbaceous is another; important to note I own both of those, I feel.) Apparently my husband wasn't into it, but wouldn't tell me for a long time because I was so excited for it. We communicate better now . . .! And I keep my eye on Northstar (that sounds wise!).

6.a. I am considering, if they have where you can buy just a deck or two of the Oceans cards, doing that for the art on them, and using them as I use the Herbaceous cards, the Book of Dragons cards, and some others, to play various games that you just need x number of cards that look the same, in x number of varieties. I haven't found a ton like this yet, but the Evolution art is so pretty, and I love the Oceans art even more, that it would have to go in my mental health/self care kit.

7. I like to think of myself at least as a part time member of the Cult of the Tried and Tested, or Cult of the Old. One reason I went for The Cave, though there were a number of bigger reasons. I am not opposed to new, but hype, if it is more than what you'd expect from any game release, tends to have me going, ok, I need to wait, because I tend to get caught up in that and want it to feel part of . . . well, something. I am not opposed to new, I do like to get at least one new release a year (I only bought a couple games last year, so that's how it goes around here.)

8. I tried Mystic Vale just after Thanksgiving, and thought it was neat. I often have problems with keyword sprawl and a bunch of questions on card interaction questions with deckbuilders, and while I suppose since you still have 60 different "cards" at most, crafted into 20 different sleeves, you could still have some, but as I was learning the game, I kept intuitively asking the next logical step, or intuitively extrapolating what the next thing was. I'm not used to that with many games, let alone a deckbuilder, albeit an unconventional one. It's a great sign. Gorgeous art.

However, it currently doesn't have solo. The next expansion coming soon brings that, though, so I'd like to see if that's good. I loved the play so much though I'm tempted to wait a month, and read reports, and then buy if it's promising (and buy at least several expansions, to mitigate an issue of just going green/tree as a dominant strategy, until having enough expansions adds enough other optioons.

Several other things give me pause. The cost to buy the card, is nigh unreadable if you aren't sitting in front of the market display, and even then you are picking them up often enough for that, and text details. The other issue is since it's a bit fiddly to put away, pulling the multiple cards out of the sleeves, they ought to have put a different symbol on each expansion card for each expansion, to help sort them out after. They didn't. And they continue to print more with these same issues as far as I know (I'm guessing the cries of, now we need to replace what we have, from people who'd be upset if on new printings they updated these issues, is partly why not. Cost of making the changes, too.) Still, I don't consider them insignificant issues.

But I loved the play! But . . . it'll be a pain in the NECK to sort out later (honestly I'd probably keep it in one configuration for some time, maybe even a year, since I play a large variety of games (for me), slowly . . .)

EDITED: 9. Been interested in media that conveys going on a journey, lately. Probably going to get Amber Mines for Near and Far, I'd been trying to get rid of it but will not now. Lord of the Rings, though I've heard the rules aren't great and the game needs tweaked a bit. I don't know if any of that is summarized somewhere, I do have a copy. I forgot to list PARKS under the no brainers above. Not sure if I'd need Tokaido once I had that . . .

That's probably WAY too much for now, but perhaps I can stop thinking about it so much my mind won't stop whirling (when my mind speeds up like this from various health issues, I try to set it to work on something positive; end result is I overthink/overdo this sort of thing, but it helps me manage my health issues, and it's my blog, so there you go.)
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Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:25 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
United States
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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.


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

My answers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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


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

I am not sure why this is.

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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

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

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

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

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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


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

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

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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

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

From gallery of sarebear62

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

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

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

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

From gallery of sarebear62

Score= Eighty-something (see above)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Eye of Sa(Ra)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BGG news post that mentions Card Caddy

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

Sara Bear
United States
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Microbadge: Paper Plane PilotMicrobadge: Watch it Played fanMicrobadge: Dwarf fanMicrobadge: I've been blamed on SGoYT made me buy this!Microbadge: It's all gone pear-shaped
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:


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.


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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