Recent gaming: Take Your Pick, Codenames, Pandemic Legacy, Evolution, Hanabi, Timeline Americana, Loopin Chewie, Fading Glory
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
June 6-12, 2016

What a great weekend! My son graduated from UC Davis with his BS degree in Plant Science (and an Anthropology minor, a combination that's called Ethnobotany). Meanwhile, my daughter Molly finished her sophomore year of college at Western Washington and drove down to meet us for Sam's graduation. My folks live not far from Davis and my brother & his family made the drive to that central location, too. After hundreds of miles for all of us, we convened for grad weekend and a mini family reunion. I brought the games! I've been bringing games to these kind of family events for years and am pleased to say that have finally figured out how to do it successfully. It only took me twenty years! We had great weather, and played everything on the patio, in the shade. I managed to get everyone playing from my 11year old nephew to my 83year old father.



-Mark


My recent gaming geeklists (2016)
Boardgames To Go Guild
Boardgames To Go Blog & Podcast
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Loopin' Chewie [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2036]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


This was where to start. My nephew is a big Star Wars fan (as any 6th grader should be!) and I couldn't wait to show him this toy/game. I was certain that I'd brought Loopin Louie to an earlier family gathering many years ago, but apparently I never did. This was completely new to them. Big fun, and I let them take it home with them. My brother told me the game was unpacked & setup to play at home within a minute of completing their 6-hour car ride back.


The only reason is gets 4 stars instead of 5 is because it seems easier than Louie, with barely any deflection needed to keep Chewie from knocking down the Stormtrooper tokens. It made the games last a bit longer than would be ideal.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:35] [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


It doesn't look like much, either when you bring out the box, or when you lay out an array of 5x5 words. However, once I get people to try it, this continues to be a homerun of a game. My family isn't really a gaming family, not like we hobbyists are. Yet Molly said how much she loves this game. I'll also note that we played back-to-back games. The nephew was shy about making his guesses known when playing with the adults, but after the first game I told him how often he was right (and the adults were wrong!). Since I was the cluegiver, I couldn't say that during the game. That's part of the reason we played a second time. That and to give my brother a chance to give clues.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.67 Overall Rank:1]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


No spoilers, so don't worry.

Though I'd only played the first three games/months with my wife, she was cooling on the game, and I decided to try playing with my brother & nephew. No one else was interested. Though my daughter watched and said it was really fun to do that (she's not a fan of original Pandemic, but enjoyed watching the story unfold in P:L). We played April, and interesting things definitely happened, but my experience with P:L continues to be one marked more by potential than actual enjoyment. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but my players always feel somewhat bewildered by the new stuff happening. The nephew really liked revealing new things. Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if my best approach is to finish this game as a solo since I'm the one who enjoys it the most.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:247]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


I taught my brother Hanabi when he visited last fall and he instantly loved it. Bought his own copy! Now we had the chance to play with more players, including his son and my daughter. This was one of those games with some accidental cheating, but it didn't matter. It was still challenging, and still fun. My son overheard us playing and asked to learn about it. My folks just watched and shook their heads, unable to figure it out. I later played a 2-player game with Sam, and on the drive home the next day, played another 2er with Molly when we stopped at Bakersfield's classic ice cream parlor, Dewar's.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Take Your Pick [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:9622]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


Yes, those are six stars. This one goes to eleven. It's almost a "standard" get-to-know-you icebreaker card game in the "would you rather" vein. Except that it's better with people you already know, since you want to predict correctly. A pet peeve of mine is when party games have anything but the most basic scoring system. Conversely, I really love when a party/social game figures out an intuitive & fun scoring. This one does that. You get three either/or choice cards per round, trying to predict one person's answer. Your turn ends on the first wrong answer, and the way I play you don't even get to ask those remaining questions. It makes everyone chuckle & laugh. We got EVERYONE in on this game, playing in a big circle on the patio. Utterly successful!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Timeline: Americana [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:2140] [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


A sentimental and personal choice. I enjoy all of the Timeline games. This one was purchased at a brick & mortar store in San Francisco while my dad was in a nearby hospital, going through a really tough time. I thought this was something we might use to pass the time together. As it was, he tried to play one game but was too mentally and physically exhausted to stick with even this short episode. That was 18 months ago. He'll never fully recover from that hospital stay, though he's significantly improved. I brought this game out again to play with him, my brother, and my son. I'm sure he didn't remember the first time we tried, and I didn't say anything. We just played, and this time, he got it. We played twice and enjoyed ourselves. I felt some deep emotions and am feeling them again as I write this. But nothing more was said because I didn't want to spoil it. It was enough to enjoy the moment.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Evolution [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:302]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


I'm still not sure about this one. As improved as it is over the Russian original, there's still a bit too much going on for a family game. I'm looking forward to Evolution: The Beginning, which might hit that sweet spot. Then again, the existing theme & mechanisms mesh so well, that I knew it would be a hit with my family. Did I mention my brother is a wildlife biology professor, his kids are nature-boys, and my daughter has an environmental studies minor? Yeah, the subject of this game is entirely in our wheelhouse. So it worked despite its slightly higher complexity for the family. Truthfully, all of the expanded stuff in Flight and Climate is equally appealing for the greater texture brought to the game. We'll have to see if we play it in the future.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Fading Glory [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmb


This wasn't during that family weekend, but a few days prior. I again met my buddy DaveO over Skype video to play our fourth game/map/scenario in the Fading Glory series, Waterloo. This is one I've played several times already (all solo), since I've owned the original Waterloo 20 in the ziplock bag for years. I really enjoy this system, including the discussions it can generate about its appropriateness of scale, and what gets included or missing in the subsequent game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.