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Updates on Cards & Crates

I wrote a post at the very beginning of this year about my history with playing cards: A Personal History of Naked Card Playing (Death to Sleeves)

I've written multiple posts over the course of the year directly or indirectly about "minimalism" and the not-so-good feeling of having too many unplayed games. Here's the current list of unplayed games in the house: https://boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/trawlerman?wanttop....

I was looking at a stack of copies of unplayed games this morning, thinking to myself that I just don't have the desire right now to play many of these games at this moment. I know that these things come in waves so I'm not really worried. There's a good chance that I'll be playing half a dozen of these unplayed games this very weekend. It's good for me to get these games played. I think that the last time that I lived in a place with zero unplayed games was probably 2005. I've actually begun to cull books as well, but that's its own separate challenge. I'm on something like the Kondo 20-year plan.

So, if I'm not so excited about the unplayed, what games have I been thinking about and/or playing?

I was inspired by bootleby's My Expertise III geeklist to create my own similar list. My list includes a running joke (hey, aren't jokes supposed to be funny?) about playing all of the games mentioned immediately. I didn't actually play more than a few games that day (Duell, King's Valley, Chartae), but I did get every one of those games out of the cabinet and stacked them together, impressed by what a great small collection they made. I could be happy with just this pile of games.

There was another geeklist on the front page dashboard about modern 2p abstracts that led me to the Connect6 page which led me to russ' review of Connect6 which led me to all of russ' reviews which led me to his review of Mini Shogi, a Shogi variant I was aware of, but wasn't high on my "radar", which I am now hoping to play soon. Part of me is excited to play Mini Shogi. Another part of me is screaming, YOU MUST FINISH PLAYING ALL OF THOSE UNPLAYED GAMES, and that's really the problem; not the unplayed games themselves, but the feeling of having some obligation to unburden myself.

The simplest way to destroy that feeling is to get through the unplayed games and continue to stay firm in my new policy to play every incoming game within two weeks of receiving it. The acquisition itself isn't the problem (though sometimes it is). It's the acquisition without playing that is problematic.

What have I acquired in the past couple of weeks? A few things.

I have purchased two different decks of playing cards, 2 copies of each deck, one for me and one for the Secret Joker Exchange. I would post pictures here, but won't for fear of lurking Jokers.

I purchased a copy of Qwixx while at Target. This was an impulse buy, but I knew that it would go over well with the kids. I taught it to three of them the day after purchasing it. They have since gone on to play it more without me, which is always the best sign that a game belongs in the house.

Another trade happened. My copy of Meltwater: A Game of Tactical Starvation for Formosa Flowers and Secret Moon. Those two games should be arriving today or tomorrow. Getting rid of Meltwater was another tough decision that many here may think was the wrong decision. It is undoubtedly a good game, maybe even a great game. It is rare that a game can successfully make an argument through gameplay, through mechanisms. Meltwater succeeds in its evocation of a shrinking world and the despair of mutual destruction, the meaninglessness of any sort of "win" under these circumstances. It really is brilliant. And the gameplay is strong enough for the game to be an interesting challenge apart from the theme (as if this were possible). After all that praise, though, I just didn't find myself wanting to play it. It's a bit of a bummer. If I wanted a 2p head-to-head game, I was always going to pick another game, or at least in practice I always did pick another game. So it left the collection.

I exchanged a few very pleasant messages with Daniel Zinn, the person behind The Blue Rings Custom Skat Deck. It was immediately apparent that this deck is a true labor of love for him. His love of Skat and his wanting to share that love with the largest possible audience is really infectious. Daniel recognized my own enthusiasm for custom decks and my interest in learning Skat and offered to send me a Blue Rings deck that he already had printed and laying around. He did not expect a review or ask for any publicity (and I'm not kidding myself that I really have any influence here). He just saw that I was excited and wanted to share something that he loves with me. I happily accepted his kind offer.

So, I received the Blue Rings deck. I watched Daniel's videos, which are quite good (and the reference cards included are also nice), but I still struggled with the bidding rules. I read Parlett on Skat, but that didn't help so much. Finally, I broke down and turned to a Skat iPhone app and just played repeatedly. I had seen both bootleby and Sean mention playing card game apps to learn games and figured it was worth a try. You know what? It worked. Not only did I learn the bidding rules to Skat, it helped break down the barrier I had in considering the Jacks (the Rings in the custom deck) as the highest part of a named trump suit and helped in cementing the Ace-Ten-King ranking.

I felt good with the rules myself, but still felt overwhelmed teaching the game to my family. The truth is that I still haven't done so.

What I did do was use the Blue Rings deck to play Officers' Skat with my 10yo daughter. This helped to teach her the rankings of the cards. There is a lot more luck in Officers' Skat than in true Skat, but it was still plenty of fun and worked as it should. We played with a simplified scoring system, just 2 points awarded per won game, which is one of the variants listed on that wiki. I added in "ramsch" and "kontra" and "re" as she became more confident.

Daniel recommended playing the game with my family without bidding at all for a while. It seems counter intuitive as a gamer to do this, because bidding is the very heart of the game, but it really does make sense to do this to teach the game. Introducing a complicated bidding system on top of a complicated ranking system is just too much. It was too much for me, as I've already noted. I had to use repeated play against an AI to understand it myself and I did so because I was determined to learn the game. Someone without that desire and determination would just give up.

The good news is that the Blue Rings deck really does make the ranking much easier to learn, eliminating that barrier. The toughest part of the design must have been the Rings, which are (almost) always trump, but malleable in their suit. This was the only thing that my daughter struggled with. I had to remind her a few times that her rings were actually the trump suit color. That said, I think that the Rings design as-is is about as good as they possibly could be. I'm really impressed by the design.

So, here's that Kickstarter link again. There are only a few days left. Pick up a copy for yourself if you have any interest at all in Skat. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danielzinn/the-blue-rin...

My copy of Doublehead Kids hasn't arrived yet, but it's good to see that others have started to receive copies in the States.

I do absolutely love this "trend" of updating traditional games with more functional aesthetic designs. Boon is another one that I love, maybe my favorite in terms of aesthetics, but to be fair this is a simpler game to update since there is a fixed trump suit. I've given myself a free pass to purchase any of these sorts of updates, which is why I didn't feel at all guilty when I just recently purchased a copy of Vivaldi after seeing Rob comment on it. These decks may not be finding a huge audience, but they are at least succeeding in easing me into further exploration of traditional games. I'm personally glad for this.

I'm painfully aware that this is already a long post. It's a giant wall of text without any pretty pictures to break things up. I had taken photos of my 10yo playing Officers' Skat with the Blue Rings deck with me, but I accidentally deleted them, because, well, technology. I guess I'm going "all in" now and just committing to the wall of text.

Here's an update on the card games that I have played so far this year. I won't even comment on these as I've already done so throughout the year. All I'm doing here is listing them all in my current order of preference, splitting the games into two lists, Modern and Traditional. Here we go.

New-To-Me Modern Card Games Played in 2020 Ranked
1. Schotten Totten
Modern Art Card Game
Vampire
Maskmen
Heul doch! Mau Mau
Air, Land & Sea
The Bottle Imp
Marshmallow Test
Duck Soup
Botswana
Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Zero Down
Ragemore
Nytelyfe Solitaire
Potato Man
5211
Wig Out!
Greedy Kingdoms
Bucket Brigade
Familiar's Trouble
Bargain Hunter
GOSU
Rage

Knizia is still king.

New-To-Me Traditional Card Games Played in 2020 Ranked
1. Hearts
Oh Hell!
Scopa
Sheepshead (Boon)
Skat (The Blue Rings)
Knaves
Poker (Follow the Queen)
Spades
Whist
Acey-Deucey
Blitz

Hearts still has my heart. I greatly enjoy trick avoidance.
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Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:30 pm
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What is 'value'?

Staff
I continued to play more games. I have successfully played all 18 games that came in the trade before two weeks was over. Crazy, yes.
I also engaged in another smaller trade (which I discuss below) and was able to play the two new-to-me games that arrived just this past Saturday.

10/25
Maskmen
The rules were tough to parse with this one, but I was mostly confident when we sat down to play. It definitely took more than half of our game for everyone to feel confident with what was happening in the game. I'm not sure about this one. I like it, but would I rather play it than other similarly weighted card games? Is turn order too significant once everyone is equally good at the game?
10/26
Medina (Second Edition)
Medina has been on my wishlist for about as long as I've had a boardgamegeek account. I'm glad that I have finally played it. Maybe I love it? It's really just a game of chicken, with everyone building the playing area together, building the relative values of everything in the game together, then deciding when to claim something for oneself. Timing is so important. Jake, have you played this one? It might be too abstract for you, but I think that you would like much of this emergent construction of game space.
Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel is much better than I remember it being, but it's still not good enough. There's not much tension. There's a decent amount of interaction, but it feels especially hamstrung, limited to what card draws are happening. It's fine. I actually enjoyed myself. But... I kinda don't care if I ever play the game again or not? Eh.
Vampire
This might be my new favorite set collection game? I hesitated to get this game. A family friendly game with bloody art on the back of each card? I don't know who was in charge of art design or marketing, but this one is almost a no-go from the start. But the gameplay is light and fun. Draw two cards, then discard a card or lay down a set of three or more cards. Or pick up a discard pile, then lay down a set of three or more cards. Game ends either when the deck runs out or one player has played all six possible sets. It is this control of the timing of the endgame that makes the game a cut above. I really enjoyed it.
Hare & Tortoise
It is almost painful for me to admit that I don't like this one at all. I love Parlett and want to love everything that he's done. This game, as wonderfully thematic as it is, just was not fun for me to play. In order to move forward, you are forced to move back. Any sense of game progress is stymied on every turn. Managing these setbacks is the game. I'd rather not.
My City x3
If you're not playing My City, well, why aren't you? It really is a perfect 2p game. I almost went without playing it this week because I had been playing stuff with the kiddos. Abigail was the one who said in the afternoon, "My City?," which itself is a win.
Rage
I picked this one up because of the potential of the six-suited high-number-ranged deck. But I figured that fair is fair, it's a new-to-me game, I better play it rules-as-written within 2 weeks. So I did. Kinda. I knew after reading the rules that this was going to be a subpar Oh Hell!, with a lot more chaos and a lot less control in what is already a chaotic and hard to control game. Anyhow, I played it. It was a 3p game with myself, my wife, and my 10yo. But after three hands, the little ones in the house were all showing signs of hunger and it was creeping up on supper time, so I bowed out, allowing my 12yo to sub in for me while I went out to the kitchen to make an easy supper while listening to Miles Davis (as my 8yo who was just gifted a broken trumpet mimed along). So I only played 3 hands (of 10) of Rage, but that's good enough for me. It was enough (though reading the rules was really enough) to confirm for me that Oh Hell is pretty great at what it is and does not need any tweaking.

Wallet
So, subpar trades? I guess that's my jam. Will gave me a little bit of pushback on my previous big trade and others expressed positive opinions on the boardgames that I got rid of. It's tough getting rid of genuinely good games.

Last week, I was proposed a trade of Hare & Tortoise, Vampire, and Rage for Civilization, Unlock Squeek, and Innovation.

I responded that I had recently obtained Hare &Tortoise in another trade, but that I'd be willing to trade Civ, Squeek, and Innovation for just Rage and Vampire. I also explained that my copy of Civilization was obtained for free through a freak Craiglist find (of which I had already profited by selling a bunch of Ambush games), that I was pretty sure that it was complete, but I could never be bothered to confirm that. The other guy played it cool, like this was a fair trade, but I assume that he knows that he got the much better end of this deal, at least in terms of monetary cost.

But, from my perspective, I got Civ for free. I've had it for half a decade and have not played it. I paid $7 or so for the Unlock game on clearance. I got Innovation for free when I was planning a convention that failed (but that's another much longer story). I know that there are many people reading this who are disgusted at me for letting go of Innovation. I did not play it. I read the rules multiple times and set the game up. I decided that it really wasn't for me. I'm looking for something very different in a 2p game and in any card game. On top of that, I know two local gaming friends who own a copy of the game. I can get in my token "I've played that" play any time (assuming some sort of future in our lifetimes that allows for this). In my limited family setting, I didn't see myself ever wanting to play it. And as far as the Unlock game goes, I've already learned that I dislike all of these types of games.

So, I was parting with $7 or so "worth" of games on my end. Rage and Vampire sounded fair enough. And I really do hope that the receiving end witll get great pleasure and repeated plays out of the games that I have sent out. I really do hope so.

And I love surprises. This trade was mostly about getting unplayed stuff out, and I thought that I was winning by getting a Rage deck. It turns out that I don't even care so much about the Rage deck. I'm surprised by how much I like this stupid Knizia vampire set collection game. I wish it had different art on the card backs, but, whatever, my kids can all deal with some blood-sucking. I thought that it would be a "play and done" but it might actually be my ongoing set collection game of choice into the future.

I don't really know what is valuable and what isn't. I certainly look up geekmarket sale histories. I know what games are kinda-sorta worth in market terms. Is Vampire "worth" more than Civ? In market terms, no. In experiential personal terms, absolutely, yes.
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Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:37 am
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Playing 18 different games in 3 days... at home!

Board Game: Wildlife Safari
Board Game: RR
Board Game: Leapin' Lily Pads
Board Game: Fliptricks
Board Game: Elk Fest
Board Game: Crafty Badger
Board Game: Babylonia
Board Game: Ilium
Board Game: Familiar's Trouble
Board Game: Eight Epics
Board Game: Drive
Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle
Board Game: Boon
Board Game: Abandon Ship
Board Game: Sakura
From gallery of Dopeski
Board Game: My City
Board Game: Modern Art Card Game


Staff
Yeah, so I did it. Almost. Here's a report. Not a ton of detail, but quick gut responses.
Box of 18 games received in the mail on Wednesday, October 14th. I posted my waffling blogpost the morning of the 17th. I rightly got called out by bootleby for not taking my own challenge seriously. I then spent the rest of the 17th, the 18th, and the 19th playing games with family.

10/17
Babylonia
18 new games to play? Well, we've still got time for a Babylonia session, right? This was a good time with a brother-in-law and nephew who were visiting.
Fliptricks
I only played one game, teaching it to others, then got out of the way to let others have fun.
Then finally beginning to tackle the games that had come in with the trade...
Elephant's Trunk x2
This is an under-the-radar Knizia game that anyone with young kids should enjoy. I played it 4p with a 6yo, 4yo, and 3yo. There was a lot of shouting and giggling. There are no choices in this game and that does not matter. We played twice in a row and the young'uns would have had me play more times, but I insisted on moving on through these new games.
Leapin' Lily Pads
Another Knizia classic from the year 2000. Knizia had probably one of his best years ever in 1999, then released two great children's games a year later. This one does involve choice and skill. It's a fairly simple memory game, but it's a good one.
RR
The little ones wanted me to keep playing with them, but it wasn't meant to be. 18 games to get through, remember? I taught RR to my 10yo, who is a veteran BraveRats (R) and Love Letter player. I won, but it's only a matter of time before she gets much better than me at this.
Botswana
And then a play of this with the 10yo and the 12yo. This is probably the first very good new-to-me game of the day. Building the values for the animals and the timing of taking animals allows for some crunchy decisions in a very easy and fast game. I know this one was a hit because the 10yo and 12yo played it again immediately with each other while I went on to play another game.
Elk Fest
The final game for the night was a vicious Elk Battle (definitely not festive!) with my 8yo son. He was much more efficient with his flicking, providing an almost nearly constant updated platform that his moose just seemed to float across. Meanwhile, I kept having discs just a little too far, followed by my moose dunking in the "water" as I tried to move those impossible distances.

10/18
That's right. I told the family that we don't do anything else but play boardgames anymore. The afternoon and evening saw more play.
Eight Epics
I played this one solo. It was a fun enough diversion, but I'm not a solo or co-op gamer. I think I just got it because it was a Kanai.
Abandon Ship
This one felt like a dice version of Bucket Brigade, quicker and more fun, even with 6 players.There wasn't a lot to this one, but it was light and fun.
Ilium
Then a 3p session of Ilium with the 10yo and 12yo. My fears of this one were kinda justified. It's not a meh euro. It's better than those. But it was still meh Knizia. There are some timing choices, but never any really interesting decision. There is mild player interaction, but it's so slow and procedural, always doing the same thing, placing 1-3 dudes, that there is no dynamism at all to any interaction.
Boon
This was easily the game of the day. Played with my wife and 18yo. First two hands, I was picker and just shy of 60 each time. I griped about how tough it was. Then, my wife decided that she could do it no problem, my daughter made fun of her, then she of course managed to score something like 80 points. Then she immediately went solo again next round and did it again. At one point, my daughter was in the act of mocking her mother, when her mother unexpectedly won something like a 30 point trick. Mother of course shouted that this is the best game ever and her favorite game of all time. I think this is a winner.
Familiar's Trouble
This was played cooperatively with this same competitive group from a moment ago. It was tough. We lost terribly. Talking about it after, we decided that you must have to be carefully card counting and aggressively cycling through challenges more than we were. Even with the passing, it was difficult to know when any other player could or could not follow suit. I think that players would have to agree on a system before playing, such as always passing cards to indicate which suits that person will never go for, or whatever. I don't know, we may try this again, but it gave me a kind of mechanical co-op vibe that I didn't like.
Carcassonne: The Castle
This opinion may be controversial. I love Knizia, but I think I prefer vanilla Carc to this one. This may be better 2p, I don't know, but it also just seems to add more crud to an already pure design. I do want to play it at least a few more times, so that's a good sign.
Drive
I had played the Crazy Chickens version back in '08 and barely remembered anything but the art and that I was underwhelmed. I also remembered that my friend who taught it to me liked it a lot. So, over a decade later, becoming more of a card gamer, with a family that loves card games, I decided to give it another chance. And... it was okay. I still don't care about it. Once again, though, that does not matter because my kids loved it (I played with 12yo, 10yo, 8yo), so they'll be playing it plenty without me.

10/19
More gaming.
My City x3
Three plays with Abigail. It's a new weekly habit.
Royal Visit
Taught this to Abigail immediately after My City. She liked it enough to play more, but we were out of fun time.
Sakura
I don't know about this one. The simultaneous selection makes it chaotic, but that chaos is also fun. Lots of stupid fun bumping into the Emperor.
Modern Art Card Game
Okay, this might be my most controversial opinion. I like this card game version more than I like the regular auction version.

So, 18 different game, but not all of the 18 games from the trade. There are still 4 left from that giant pile: Medina, Tower of Babel, Maskmen, and Hare & Tortoise. I might not get to them this week, but I'm confident that I can get to them before the 28th. Why didn't I force myself into this stupid "must play everything acquired within 2 weeks" challenge 15 years ago? It's a no-nonsense policy that just makes sense. Stop buying games. If you have trouble with that, then at least stop buying games and not playing them. Makes sense to me. I'm never going back to purchasing games that sit on the shelves unloved and unplayed. Never!!! Which brings us to...

Wallet
I did buy stuff, but I'm sticking to the plan.
-$12 for a deck of playing cards. I know that someone could give me crap for this, but I've been looking at new decks not for myself, but to give as gifts. I would like a nicer deck for myself (currently using a $4 Bicycle deck that is just fine) and may pick one up in the next couple of weeks or months, but I've been browsing lots of card sites looking for gifts for both family and friends. I bought this particular deck as a "stocking stuffer" for my 10yo.
-I backed another Kickstarter project this morning because it is exactly what I am looking for these days. It's a full version of Skat with a deck redesign for those of us not raised with arcane card game rules. If you had told me last year that I'd be considering playing Skat at home, I'd have laughed at you. Now it's happening and I love that it is. You should check this out and back it too. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danielzinn/the-blue-rin...
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:19 pm
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Cloak, wallet, staff

Cloak, wallet, staff was the ancient Cynic equivalent of phone, wallet, keys...

From gallery of trawlerman
I'm very much a 21st century American, soft and too comfortable. I'll never make it to cloak, wallet, staff level, but maybe I can move away from cloak, wallet, staff, giant cabinet full of games with extra games all over the place level.

I'm using the tag "Staff & Wallet" for these "Crates Challenge" posts, which will maybe become weekly updates (which sounds ridiculous even to myself as I consider an extended log-off once again). These posts will each have two components: Staff & Wallet. Bet you didn't guess that. The "staff" section will be updates on actions: games received, games played, games purged, etc. The "wallet" section will be updates on how I'm doing in terms of spending money on games, hopefully more often than not being a simple report that I have spent no money on games.

Alright. Let's try this out....

Staff
As reported last week, I took part in another large trade. 9 games out of the collection, discussed last week. 18 new games into the collection. 18! Yikes. This made me realize that I need to clarify part of the Crates Challenge. I had written that I would play every new game within two weeks of receiving it. I need to make an exception for large trades like this. There is no way that I can play all 18 of these games within 2 weeks unless I take two weeks off from work to do nothing but play new games, which sounds great, but is not going to happen. So, newly clarified rule: Any games that I purchase will be played within two weeks. Any large trades will give me two weeks per game received, which means that I have 36 weeks, more than half a year, to play all of these games before I have to toss them. Overall, though, I'm hoping to keep up a pace of at least 2 new-to-me unplayed games per week, so this should not even be an issue. There are about ten more weeks left in the year. That should be at least twenty more unplayed games getting played (or maybe, if they've been around a while, tossed without being played). Eh, all of this sounds like too much already. I think I may just need to institute a no more trades rule. Right now, there are games in the house. I need to either play them or get rid of them. At least 2 unplayed get played and/or tossed every week. That's the goal right now, I guess.

Edit: The challenge says two weeks. It'll be two weeks.
Original Crates Challenge Rules: 5. If I do buy a new game, I will play it immediately upon receiving it, within two weeks (and I'm only giving myself two weeks as a generous allowance for the fact that sometimes life is so busy that to do anything immediately is difficult). If I don't play it within two weeks of receiving it, I give it away unplayed immediately, driving to the thrift store that day if I have to.
6. Trades are still allowed, following the same guidelines as purchases outlined above.


To the left is a photo of what 18 new games stacked on top of each other looks like. I admit that it did feel great to get a bunch of new games. The consumerist high is real. I'm happy with almost all of these games coming in, excited to try them out with the family. Surprisingly, it's just two of the Knizias that I'm lukewarm about. Ilium just looks like a blah Euro. Tower of Babel is one I tried in 2006 and was underwhelmed by, but felt like I needed to give it another chance after seeing others give it some love. But just looking at it, I'm not excited. Eh, we'll see.

Part of me feels like the entire big trade was a way for me to feel good about trading away multiple big games for copies of Elk Fest and Times Square, two games that I've played before that felt right to own. And I read the rules to RR last night. That one will see a little bit of play by me, then probably a lot of play by my children, so the whole trade was a good thing even if only for that one game. Even if the rest go, oh well.

Since last week, I played two previously unplayed games.

1. My City
This was recently purchased, purchased with a good reason and a plan to play it. This has already and will continue to get played once a week with Abigail. Good game. Good times. I already regret where I placed my first stone sticker. I wish I had had a tiny bit more experience before making unalterable game-changing decisions!
2. Fliptricks
This one is making me reconsider my intention to cancel my Button Shy subscription in December. This is probably the stupidest little game I've played all year, and I mean that in the best possible way. I played 14 times in an evening, which is really easy to do if you keep breaking your skateboard by failing to land properly. John Shepherd wrote a great review. Go read it, then try to find a copy of this or make your own copy. Edit: pnp found here.

Wallet
I spent $43 and change on shipping for the trade. Shipping costs just keep increasing. Anyhow, I'm okay with it. $43 helped me get rid of nine games that I was struggling to get rid of. That's probably the most important part of this. It also got me 18 new games that I think are a better fit for me and my family. I'm a bit conflicted about it because the goal is to get games out of the house, not into the house, but overall I'm feeling more positive about this one than negative, since I don't plan to just let these new games sit on a shelf in the basement for a few years. I don't. Seriously. Stop looking at me like that.
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Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:46 pm
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One week later...

A week ago, I talked big about getting rid of stuff and playing unplayed games.

A week later, here's a report.

On 10/8, I purchased a copy of My City for full retail price. I intend to play it for the first time today.

On Saturday, I received the three copies of Boon that I had ordered on the 2nd.

So far, that doesn't look promising. It looks more like I've continued to fish for more games instead of throwing my games into the sea.

True enough. I am weak. But both My City and Boon should see plenty of play. I hope so.

In better news, I have a stack of 20 games on a bench that are ready to leave the house. I'm unsure right now whether I'll go through the trouble of giving them away here or just do the crazy thing of throwing them into the wild by donating them to a local thrift store.

In addition to those 20 games, I have just this morning approved a trade (my 3rd big trade with Alex this year) that will get 9 more unloved games out of the house. Let's examine this one further.

The 9 games that are leaving fall into three different categories.
War Games
Time of Crisis: The Roman Empire in Turmoil, 235-284 AD
Twilight Struggle
War Chest
Wilderness War
Family Games
Kingdom Builder
Morels
Zooloretto
Cube Rails
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
Ride the Rails

Quick rundown:
I bought Time of Crisis because of Martin's review. It was peer pressure. Once I received it, I read the rules. It looked good. I tried to get it played, but there were always other games. I think the truth is that I did not believe in my ability to get the game played repeatedly with my group. And if it wasn't going to be played repeatedly, what was the point of even playing it once? I could have played it at home. My kids always surprise me with how much they like multiplayer warrish titles. They all liked Conquest of Paradise more than I did. But I wasn't feeling it. I never made the effort.
Twilight Struggle was a favorite for a while, but I've only played it 9 times and the last time was already 5 years ago.
War Chest looked good. I got it on 50% discount at my flgs. I liked my one play of Undaunted: Normandy. This looked similar, though a bit abstract. Again, I read the rules and then could never be bothered to play the game.
Wilderness War represents all of my intentions to play more war games. When I was living in Buffalo and gaming heavily with the Buffalo gamers, Wilderness War was always on the table every Saturday that BACSIM met. I would go on to play many CDGs (Washington's War, Unhappy King Charles, others), but I never did play my copy of Wilderness War. I got rid of my first edition for a second edition in 2010. I've owned the second edition unplayed for ten year. It's time for it to go. I'm sorry, Wilderness War.
Kingdom Builder doesn't do anything for me. After playing it, I read lots of reviews and comments. I listened to the podcast that Martin was on. I'm not convinced. 1 play and I'm kicking this game out. Entirely unfair, I guess. It's a pleasant enough game, but I just would never pick it to play over so many others.
Morels is a game that I've owned for a few years thinking that it could be a good 2p game with Abigail. Nah. It's another case of having read the rules and deciding that it wasn't worth the bother. Maybe I should start reading rules more often before I acquire games?
Zooloretto saw a decent amount of family play in the past, but I've never loved it. I'd rather play Coloretto every time. I had the children do the goofy Kondo goodbye ceremony. "Goodbye, Zooloretto. Thank you for the good times." I think it's healthy to really like something, acknowledge that it has brought you pleasure in the past, and also completely let it go.
Finally, Gulf, Mobile & Ohio and Ride the Rails. These were both acquired earlier this year! I really felt like I needed these games mere months ago. Well, I don't need them. Jake has a copy of Ride the Rails that I'll play eventually. If I do, great. If I don't, that's okay as well. Gulf looks interesting, but it also looks just a tad too fiddly. I may be starting to sound like another raving lunatic on this site, but if I'd always rather be playing Babylonia, why do I need these other games around?

So, yeah, 9 games out of the house. Sounds great, right? Except that I traded those 9 for 18(!) incoming games. Sigh.

Several Knizias
Abandon Ship
Carcassonne: The Castle
Crafty Badger
Ilium
Leapin' Lily Pads
Modern Art Card Game
Royal Visit
Sakura
Tower of Babel
Wildlife Safari
Other Designers
Drive
Eight Epics
Elk Fest
Familiar's Trouble
Hare & Tortoise
Maskmen
Medina (Second Edition)
RR

Edit: I meant to also note that I canceled my p500 pre-order for Rebel Fury, which still looks great, but I haven't even played Gettysburg in more than a year.

2nd Edit: I also played 3 previously unplayed games in the past week.
LYNGK
Quarto
Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Quarto was nothing special. LYNGK became an instant favorite of my 10yo. It is an interesting amalgamation of the rest of the GIPF series. I'm happy to keep it, but I've already thrown away the box and consolidated the GIPF games that I own (DVONN, LYNGK, YINSH, ZERTZ) into just the DVONN and YINSH boxes, and I might even just move them to some of those empty white GMT boxes that I have. I would have thrown them all into the new large LYNGK box, but the DVONN board would not fit.
I played UCS with the three oldest. We all agreed that we'll play it weekly in December.
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Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:18 pm
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