What I Did On My Summer Vacation
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I'm so excited, I'm bouncing in my chair! We've planned it for a long while, and now it's finally upon me: my summer vacation to Oak Island, NC. Come tomorrow morning, the Wife and I will set out in our trusty vehicle for the wind-swept and sun-soaked North Carolina coast, where we're meeting up and sharing a cabin with my mother and her partner.

My mom and her partner enjoy playing games a lot, now that she's retired, and she's tried out some of "my kind of games" and enjoyed them. I'm hoping that with a solid week together, I can get in some good gaming time with them!

This list is comprised of the games I've got packed in a milk crate that's about to be loaded into our trunk. I've tried to find a mix of games, some that I'm sure will be enjoyed and a couple that I hope to slip in the mix 'cos I love them so.

I don't have an expectation that these will all be played, but I'll give it the ol' college try! I'll update this list in a week with a verdict from the ladies.
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1. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:328]
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Ingenious is one that I'm confident will be a hit. Mom, Sal, and my wife all like abstracts and dominoes, and the game's dead simple to learn. This'll be one of the first ones I suggest.

===== Back from Vacation Edit! =====

As I reckoned, this was a hit. I played with my mom and Sal, and they enjoyed it greatly, requesting a second play immediately. Fish in a barrel.
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2. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
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Another one I think will be an easy sell. Simple and fun, and a very appealing theme for three gardening women.

===== Back From Vacation Edit! =====

Never played this one. Instead, I spent a lot of time playing in the ocean!

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3. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:893]
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I actually had Ticket to Ride: Europe in the crate first, but the box is too big. TransAmerica fits better, and it's probably better for non-hobbyists.

===== Back From Vacation Edit! =====

Never played this one, either. Instead, I read Huck Finn for the first time! I'm actually still in the midst of it. It'd be faster going, but I checked out the annotated version. Takes longer to get through, but I'm getting a lot more out of it!

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4. Board Game: 10 Days in Africa [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1612]
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This is one of my wife's favorites. We love the African geography lesson, the fast play. It's got just enough thinkin' to make it interesting to me, but it's luck-driven enough that the playing field is leveled some, for players of disparate gaming experience.

===== Back From Vacation Edit! =====

Didn't make the table. Instead, we cooked lots of yummy food! My guacamole is always a hit.

 
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5. Board Game: Expedition [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1589]
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Another favorite of the wife's. Mine, too. The gameplay is really novel, but we'd probably play it just to read about all the different places and look at the pictures. A game worthy of it's National Geographic license.

===== Back From Vacation Edit! =====

I really wish we woulda played this. But... We didn't. Instead, I scanned in family photos that my mom brought along.

Some of me as a kid...


And some old pics of family. This is my Grandma and Grandpa clownin' around.

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6. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:575]
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One of my all-time favorite games, it's even more popular with non-gamers than within the hobby, where it's plenty well-esteemed already! If they don't dig this, I'm gonna be bummed. But that won't happen! Who can resist the roaring engines and squealing tires?

Yeah, yeah, some crank'll pipe up with "I can!" But we know you're hosed.

===== Back From Vacation Edit! =====

Nope, didn't play this one, either. Instead, we went geocaching! My mom and Sal got started geocaching on a recent trip to Alaska, and Mom was immediately smitten. I'm happy she's into nerdy internet stuff, too! We had a lot of fun finding the caches; over the course of the week, we each found one!

The Wife was the first to find hers...


And on the last day, I finally found one.

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7. Board Game: Buccaneer [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2186]
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I haven't played this one in a while, but it's so quick and fun I couldn't resist bringing it along. We'll be in the heart of pirate territory, and since these gals ain't gonna play Blackbeard with me...

===== Back From Vacation Edit! =====

You guessed it--we didn't play this one, either. Instead, we visited Wilmington, which was totally cute. Stopped by Fanboy comics and picked up the new Little Orphan Annie comic strip collection and a 4E D&D module. We ate at the Dock Street Oyster Bar, and got medieval on some crustaceans. Crab legs, shrimp, oysters, crayfish... Good eatin'!

 
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8. Board Game: If Wishes Were Fishes! [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2070]
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One of my favorite family games of 2007, I'm gonna lobby for this one to get played. The rules are a little more involved that many of the others on this list, but they work together so well. A very clever game.

===== Back from Vacation Edit! =====

Played with Mom and The Wife, to a lukewarm response. The Wife won by a point, and asked me afterwards, in private, "Do you really like that game?" *sigh* We shoulda played Expedition, instead.
 
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9. Board Game: Familienbande [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3335]
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This one is all me, baby. I really dig the look of this game and as a lover of all things evolution, the inherited traits theme knocks me out. I only rated it a 7.5, but it was too long ago to remember why (gotta use those comments better!). It's one that's been languishing in my collection that I think will be well received at the beach.

===== Back from Vacation Edit! =====

Oy! This was a clanger! Played with Mom and The Wife, and they didn't like it at all. Used the proper rules (thanks for the link to the thread; I hadn't seen it!), but it wasn't fun. By the third generation, The Wife didn't have any cards in her hand, so her turns consisted of drawing a new card on one turn and playing it on the next. This has happened in each game I've played, and it's a serious problem I haven't seen addressed anywhere. I know that you "should" be playing where you draw cards if you don't have a card to play that'll benefit you, but players tend to want to use the cards in their hands before having to draw. By the end of the game, you're out of cards in your hand. Mom also complained that the components didn't work together well, which I heartily agree with. The track seems to be too small; the markers don't really fit on the spaces, and the cards don't really fit into the space they're allotted. I really wanna like this game, but it seems pretty broken.
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10. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1017]
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Y'know, I've only played this once before. It seems like something they might dig, and brings some different mechanisms into play, but does it play well with only four players?

===== Back from Vacation Edit! =====

After reading the comment below, I left it at home.
 
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11. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
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Another one I've only played once. I liked it a lot, and it's a classic, right? Shouldn't be too scary for the old ladies, but this is one that I'm not sure is gonna make it to the table.

===== Back From Vacation Edit! =====

Mom and The Wife helped me to punch the pieces, which I hadn't done yet, but it never made it to the table. Instead, I just enjoyed hanging out with my mom. She's great.

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