Thanksgiving - Gaming Less than Hoped For, More than Expected
Jason Ober
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Thanksgiving generally brings at least a few friends back into town that return to feast with their families. This Thanksgiving was no exception, as Devin, JT, and Chris all showed back up and had some free time to play some games. These were all guys that at one time or another were regular gaming buddies that have since moved (Devin to California, JT to New York, and Chris to Florida). As a result, they have all been branded as "gaming traitors." sauron Anyway, I was hoping to have 3 or 4 nights of gaming with them, but scheduling conflicts and out of touch "priorities" (family? HA!) cut that to 2 nights. My son has become a big fan of boardgaming also, though, so I managed to get some games in with him. This is what I played over 5 glorious days of no work....
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1. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:390]
 
Jason Ober
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11/25/08

Devin and JT were supposed to show up around 6pm, but family obligations prevented them from getting over until around 9:30. Jared (another regular gaming buddy) had shown up around 7pm, so we decided to play Conflict of Heroes to try out the system. We played the first firefight. It was a brutal game, with my pulling out the win as the Russians in the final turn 6 VPs to 5 with much carnage left on both sides. I REALLY liked this game. I'm not much of a wargamer, but both of us had a really good time with this one. The CAPS system works to really keep you on your toes as to what your opponent COULD pull off. I'm really looking forward to mixing in hidden units, armor, variable action points, hidden damage counters, etc., etc. etc.
 
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2. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1465]
Jason Ober
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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11/25/08

Shortly after we finished Conflict of Heroes, JT and Devin showed up. With my wife, this gave us 5 players, and I decided to introduce them to Red November. I had multiple pumps, but they told me not to pump the water because that prevented fires. That proved to be our undoing, as a timed event in the aft while we were all forward proved too difficult to accomplish what with having to slog through all that water. Our sub was crushed and our drunken gnomes are now nothing but fish food.
 
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3. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Jason Ober
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11/25/08

My wife had to go to bed since SHE had to work the next day (SUCKER!!! devil ), so I decided to show them galaxy trucker. We ran one practice mission first, then leapt into the full game. Mission 1 proved to be pretty easy, prompting some derision from Devin - "I thought you said this game was hard...." However, the next 2 missions proved to be a bit more challenging. At one point a large meteor came in from the front on column 5, and I got to watch with glee as I blasted it with my laser and it sheered off the left wing of not one, not two, but ALL THREE of my opponents ships! Truly, my engineering skills are beyond their feeble comprehension!
 
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4. Board Game: Ruse & Bruise [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1954]
Jason Ober
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11/25/08

It was late at this point, but everyone wanted one more. I pulled out my trusty Iphone with its ultracool BGG app, set the number of players at 4 and duration to less than 30, and it randomly picked this from my collection. (Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to Ryan Christianson for this application - it's AWESOME!).

I left the game more bruised than rused for sure, and we called it a night after some chit chat and trying to figure out when we could get together again.
 
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5. Board Game: Wings of War: Famous Aces [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:787] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Jason Ober
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11/26/08

An afternoon game against my son, who was itching to try flying two planes at once. He started his planes out on opposite sides of the battlefield, and I was able to pick apart one before turning to the other. He did manage to shoot down the Red Baron, however, which made him VERY happy.
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6. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:807]
Jason Ober
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11/27/08

My kids wanted to bring a couple of games over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving day. They picked out Say Anything, Gifttrap, and Hive. I should mention that my parents are NOT gamers. My mom will play very simple (read = Trouble, Parcheesi) games, some party games, and some card games. My dad will not play a game. Period. I've never really figured that out, but whatever.

The first game up was Say Anything, with my mom, wife, and 2 kids. It went over pretty well, with my mom and I tying for first. One question of note: My mom asked "What do I like to do to relax?" Gambling, talking, and reading were out when my son put out "spending time with your grandchildren." Needless to say, that had 8 votes, and that was the one chosen. He was VERY proud of himself.

After that they set off to play Gifttrap, but I ducked out because I didn't really think my mom liked it the one time the kids made - I mean, asked her to play. This time didn't seem to be much different.
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7. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
Jason Ober
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11/27/08

While we were waiting for dinner, my son asked for a game of Hive. I eagerly accepted his challenge, even though I knew I would crush him. 3 turns in and I had the game locked. I had locked down 2 of his ants and had 4 pieces around his queen. Then I allowed his queen to move, and before you knew it, I was grounding him for beating me. I'm still not really sure what went wrong, other than my overconfidence being my undoing.... shake
 
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8. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Jason Ober
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11/28/08

Friday was the next night I was hoping to have everyone over to game but alas, they are younger and singler, so they opted to go out. With a little more warning I would have joined them, but I didn't want to ditch my wife with the kids at the last minute.

My son and I played the first scenario out of the terrain pack, and he soundly beat me, concluding that "the germans alway win." Normally he plays Allies and I trounce him, so his opinion isn't *entirely* unfounded at this point in his Memoir experience.....
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9. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:4474] [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
Jason Ober
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11/29/08

Saturday afternoon, my son pulled this game out, exclaiming that "we [hadn't] played this in like a year!" So we set out to save ourselves (and no one else) from the zombies. We played with the military complex, and my son was bound and determined to kill the super zombies, which allowed me a quick trip to the helipad in town. My wife got lost and ended up back in town square at *just* the wrong time. devil
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10. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Jason Ober
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11/29/08

Ah, some of the guys are free again and Galaxy Trucker begins the evening! JT couldn't make it as he got tied up at 2nd Thansgivings with his Mom's side, but Chris was finally in town and available as was Devin. Chris got there first, so we played a game of Galaxy Trucker with my wife and son. It was ok. I'm definitely getting better at ship construction, so less happens to me, and the cards that came out were more or less benign, so it wasn't as eventful as I would have liked. Still enjoyable, though.
 
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11. Board Game: Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:759]
Jason Ober
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11/29/08

After we had finished Galaxy Trucker, we decided to grab something to eat. While we were eating, Jared showed up. We finished up and pulled out Dominion for some 4 player goodness. Then Devin screwed everything up by showing up. I asked him to leave and come back in an hour, but he REFUSED! shake Soooo, we put Dominion away, and pulled out Fire & Axe, a game which I've had for a while but haven't managed to get to the table.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. My mild mannered wife went on a raiding rampage, claiming over half the settlements on the map to raids. I became famous for raiding and being sent packing, rolling many batches of 1's and 2's. In the end, needless to say, I was soundly trounced, but I really look forward to trying it again.
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12. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:17]
Jason Ober
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Indianapolis
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11/29/08

Next up was Agricola. I debated whether or not to use the cards since 2 of the people were Agriconeophytes, and in the end I decided to put the cards in. I got a couple of cool cards, but Chris really went to town, laying out 4 occupations and 4 minor improvements. I laughed at his newbness to the game, laying out so many cards, but then banged my head on the table when he beat me by two points. Oh, the HUMANITY! He actually had really good combos that I hadn't witnessed before, mainly revolving around the "Day Labourer" space.
 
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13. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1465]
Jason Ober
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11/29/08

For the final game of the evening, Red November once again reared its ugly head. We died with 20 minutes left to go. Chris made a desperate attempt to abandon us to our fate with the aqualung about 10 minutes into the mission, but I had to point out that he needed to get to the 10 minute mark to do that. Needless to say, he was closely watched after that, treacherous dog that he was - or, is. A good finish to a great evening. Little did I know the horror that awaited me on Sunday.....
 
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14. Board Game: Monopoly: Scooby-doo! Fright Fest [Average Rating:4.82 Overall Rank:14039]
Jason Ober
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"Daddy?"
"Yeah, Nat?"
"Do you maybe want to play a game you don't really like?" (cue big puppy dog eyes)
"Maybe (with fear in my voice)... what game?"
"Monopoly."
"*SIGH* Sure!"

So began a 3 hour game of Monopoly which saw me crushed in the first half hour of play, with 3 more hours of me flailing about and moaning before my son put me out of my misery. My wife had already been crushed. Monopoly wouldn't necessarily be TERRIBLE but for the agonizingly slow ending.
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15. Board Game: 25 Words or Less [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:3072]
Jason Ober
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The final game over our Thanksgiving holiday, suggested by my son. Thanks mainly to my wife's hyper-aggressive bidding ("Really? You're going to get a 9 year old to guess Jeep and rally and 3 others in 12 words? GO FOR IT!"), my daughter and I pulled off a 10-4 win.
 
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