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JUST GAMING AROUND - Political Hijinks - Drafting Dinos and Veggies

-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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First, a slight digression into politics. Or rather, my lack of political veracity.

Story 1: My son joined a new scout troop last year after his previous troop disbanded. One of the many parents seemed familiar for some reason. He was only there occasionally and usually was quietly in the background. I never spoke to him until just before summer. He was going to be teaching the Communication Merit Badge that my son had signed up for. I decided to introduce myself: "My name is Matt. I'm not sure I know your name," and put out my hand to shake. He paused briefly then put out his hand and said "Chris Edwards". We discussed the merit badge and the summer class briefly. Later I was thinking that name sounded familiar. I did a search in the parking lot before leaving and 'discovered' he was a former member of the House of Representatives and a former State Senator!

Story 2: Yesterday (Tuesday), I attended a Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking ceremony for a new 12 house development being built in a local city. I arrived a few minutes before it was to start. I had to park about a block away. There was a lady that got out of her car across the street from me and we ended up walking side by side in the same direction. I asked her if she was going to the groundbreaking. She said she was. "Have you ever attending a groundbreaking before?". She said she had. We proceeded to discuss the organization a bit in our short jaunt to the site. As we arrived several people immediately gathered around her. I quickly realized she was the mayor of the city!

No comment.


On to gaming!

Draftosaurus is a terrific little filler that is filled with 5 dozen tiny dino meeples designed by Antoine Bauza (love his designs), Ludovic Maublanc, Corentin Lebrat and Théo Rivière! When at a local game day in July it was being played at a table next to us. They looked like they were really enjoying it. When I found out it had dinos and involved drafting, I knew I had to have it. I've played it 10 times so far with a variety of people. Invariably they want to play it again immediately.

Sushi Go has always been a family favorite although we haven't played it in a while. This fits a similar bill as you start each round with 6 dinos drawn randomly from a bag. You choose one, reveal simultaneously and then place it on your board into one of 6 pens, or the river for 1 point (if you don't have any better options). The pens have placement requirements such as all of the same type, all different types, or couples (pairs). There is an additional restriction each turn as dictated by a die roll which might force you to play to only certain areas of your board.

Each game has two rounds of drafting 6 dinos. After 12 total turns (12 dinos on your board) the game ends and you count up your points! There are also 2 sides to the board with different placement requirements to give some additional variety. You can also play two games, one on each side, then add up your scores from both to determine an eventual winner.

From gallery of tasajara
From gallery of tasajara


I love this game as its quick (typically 10-15 minutes per game), easy, keeps everyone involved, and is cute and fun without being dumb.

The one slight downside is that you must pass the dinos 'secretly' and keep them hidden in your hands the entire time. It works, but I felt it would be great to have some kind of cup or dish to hold them in. My wife found the game Fluff (a Liar's Dice variant) at a thrift store. They have really nifty small dice cups with lids. And when I saw them I knew I needed them for Draftosaurus. I got them to fit into the box and they have been working faaaan-tastically.


Point Salad is another great drafting game from Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich. Great game for a first one published. Drafting is done in a slightly different manner - there is a field of 6 veggies available for you to pick from. (Ha. Ha. Ha.) You may pick 2 veggies. OR, you may take one of 3 goal cards available. Taking a goal card reveals a new one. However, taking veggies flips over the top goal cards to the veggie side of the cards to fill in the gaps. The cards are two-sided! Point goals are on one side and veggies to score for the point goals on the other side!

The choices become agonizing because you often want BOTH a goal card AND some of the veggies. Or worse, that goal card you really want quickly disappears as someone else takes a veggie causing the goal card to go away. A couple of nifty twists are that you can take a goal card and flip it to a veggie card - either right away OR later in the game (or the end) if you think it will help you more as a veggie.

The only way to score points is with the goal cards you obtain. You are looking for the best combos since one veggie can count towards multiple goal cards. Some goal cards score for specific veggies, some for combinations of veggies, some give you NEGATIVE points for certain veggies. So its trying to find the best balance of positive and negative.

From gallery of tasajara


This is another nice filler that only takes 15-20 minutes to play and is easy to play multiple games back-to-back. This is a new family hit that will be seeing more table time in the future.



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