Weekend Full of Gaming
Ron Nichols
United States
Antioch
California
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Recently my wife left town to spend a weekend in Colorado. It was part ministry, part fun as she went with a close friend of hers. Given that my two children are pretty much on their own, I arranged for a weekend of gaming with some friends. The weekend turned out better than I could have possibly hoped for.

Before the gaming could begin, some household chores had to get done. I was pruning some trees in my back yard and had to get that done before going to one of my friend's homes to take care of a dump run for him. As it turned out, my gaming buddies came over and helped me with the recycling run for my pruned greenery which consisted of two truck loads. Then we all went and did the dump run, carting out a bunch of stuff from my friend's place. We parted after completing our tasks ahead of schedule to shower up. Then they came over, we had some grilled Italian sausage with grilled pepeprs and onions and got into gaming mode about 6 pm or so, lasting until about 2 am. We went to church the next morning, invited another friend over and got fired back up on Sunday about 2, finishing up around 9 o'clock that night. All in all, we played five different games and had about 13 different sessions. Read on for details.
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1. Board Game: Wings of War: The Dawn of World War II [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1502]
Ron Nichols
United States
Antioch
California
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We started off Saturday evening with three games of the World War II version of Wings of War. Normally I am pretty good with strategy and figuring games out. This one is proving to be a challenge for me but no less fun than the rest. A game of this does remind me a bit of when I played racquetball in college when there were three of us - cut throat. When three of us gather to play this, we all select a plane and a starting position. Last one flying is the winner!

I did not do so well, finishing 0-3. I flew one plane off the table and got some nasty damage chits. I did fare better than my one friend though who, in the third session, lost his plane on the first chit. We let him buy himself back into the game with two damage chits. I was teasing him that he could be the first player to lose four times in three games. But it was not to be. His replacement pilot flew very well and he was able to secure a win in the third, or was it fourth, session.
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2. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:320]
Ron Nichols
United States
Antioch
California
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Since there were only three of us, we played without the traitor. We got caught up in the pursuit of the Holy Grail in the first session and, as a result, the city of Camelot was successfully beseiged. In the second game, we cooperated much better and were less concerned with the grail, pursuing other adventures that were not as time and resource dependent. We fared well in that game, placing 8-9 swords on the table as opposed to the remaining dark swords.
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3. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:82]
Ron Nichols
United States
Antioch
California
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Believe it or not, we got started on this Saturday night and it was a learning experience for one of my friends. It had been a while since it was pulled out and I had some rules to refresh myself on. While my one friend has played it, we were teaching this to our other friend. Imagine after a full day of work and already 5 hours or so of gaming, pulling this out! It was insane, but fun nonetheless.

I played the Fellowship while the other teamed as the Shadow players. It was fully cooperative on their side as it was a new experience for one. I was able to pull off the victory in this one as I was not only on the Mordor track with the fellowship but also had two of the Shadow strongholds at turn's end. As you might imagine with a first time player and the other two having been a while, there were several strategic errors. The Fellowship was able to recover a bit better though. This game sucked the life out of us and we decided to call it an evening.
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4. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:320]
Ron Nichols
United States
Antioch
California
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It was Sunday afternoon and we ventured once again into Camelot. This time another friend came over, the son of my best friend who passed away several years ago. His son is 15 and enjoys getting together with us when he can. His dad was a fervant game player though a bit on the analysis paralysis side! In fact, my first huge game purchase was made with my best friend in mind. He passed away though before we could play any of them.

Okay, so we started off with Camelot and played a total of three games - this time with the traitor. What was a game of high fives and encouragement turned into a game of accusations and back-stabbing. My friend would have liked this one!

The traitor won the first as he went unsuspected to final victory. The second game was a cooperative conquest as the traitor was no where to be found. The third game found your's truly as the traitor, executing that role quite well in securing a victory. It was an interesting way to play a game for sure. We decided that playing with the traitor was much more exciting.
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5. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Ron Nichols
United States
Antioch
California
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Another cooperative game. We had yet to play this all together so it was an interesting few sessions. As you might expect, the game beat us the first two games, though we fared much better than I had expected getting to the Mordor board each time, the second time to space 56. The third session was no contest as we pretty easily secured the final victory.

My one friend liked it so much and was convinced his roomates would that he decided he was going to buy a copy. Hating to have multiple copies of a game floating around our close knit group, I decided to sell him mine and use the money for another game for all of us.
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6. Board Game: Modern Naval Battles [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3664]
Ron Nichols
United States
Antioch
California
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It was getting late and the son of my friend was already gone, having to get home to watch his brothers and sisters so his mom could go to church. It was pretty cool - his mom left the choice to him but he decided to go home because 1) he told his mom he would watch them earlier in the week and 2) his mom likes to go to church and he wants her to go.

So, it was a version of this game that we concluded with - Cold War Naval Battles. So much for cooperation as bomber mission cards flew across the table and ships were sinking everywhere. I was able to secure an extra carrier and sub with additional ship cards and had some real nice bomber runs to secure the victory in the final game of the weekend.

All in all, we agreed that it was a great weekend. As I reflect back, I cannot recall a recent time, having so much work and fun with some friends. It was fantastic.
 
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