It's a hard life.
My wife Paula is not a gamer. Oh, she'll play the occassional game of Othello or Mastermind, and she's willing to play Cribbage when friends come over who also enjoy the game. However, in the years since I found the Geek and began expanding my collection, the games I enjoy hold little (if any), interest for her. Therefore I'm stuck only getting to play the really good games in my collection with my Friday gaming group, which just ain't enough!
Lately she's discovered that maybe there are a few good'uns in my pile of boxes. See? Miracles can happen, even if the games she likes are Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne.
Carcassone (with the River expansion included), is a fairly recent purchase after the responses to my second geeklist convinced me to buy it. A quick read of the rules and I was set, playing my first game with my oldest son Jake (age 15). We both enjoyed it enough to bring in my younger son Joe (age 9), and try it with three players. Okay, not bad at all. It plays fast, it's easy, there's a small amount of backstabbing (always a plus), and it looks great laid out on the table. Seeing our game spread out was enough to pique the wife's interest. "What's this?" I gave her a half-hearted explanation, figuring she wasn't really that interested.
Today, my boy asked me to play, my youngest daughter Emily (age 7), begged to join, and the wife sat down and gave me a shrug.
The tiles for the river were stacked and played, and we got started. Emily went for knights and thieves right away, while Joe dropped a knight and started building an immense city over several turns. The wife drew a couple of cloisters and thought monks would be a good idea, while I played with my usual do everything style.
This was actually my first game using the River, and I like how it effects the game. Joe's city grew to epic proportions so we knew it would never be completed (in fact, we helped a little ), and Emily raced away from us on the scoring track by completing roads and smaller cities. In fact, every one of her cities seemed to have a pennant or two, so her total was really good early on. The kids passed both me and the missus, and the laughter was loud and long.
I managed to complete a few cities, but the wife, through strategic placements, completed two cloisters on one turn. She surged ahead of me.
Emily still needed assistance, but seemed to understand the game well enough. She learned how to grab instant points, and was dropping thieves for points every turn. Then she completed her big city and gained 22 points. With her monks returned, Paula grabbed some cities, then, as the tiles grew fewer, a few farmers hit the table.
Considering the number of completed cities, and that I had a lot of farmers, I figured I had this game in the bag. We tallied the final points and ended up with this:
Paula - 74
Emily - 66
Me - 59
Joe - 44
Color me surprised. The wife gave me a smug look as she got up. 'We'll have to play that one again sometime. It was fun." Okay, the longest journey starts with small steps. Maybe this is a sign of good things to come down that road. She's even suggested we go check out the expansions.
I may have lost the game, but I'm slowing converting the wife into a gamer. The future looks good!
that's a wonderful story. I'm glad you and your family had fun.
Chris van Wyk
Stellenridge, Cape Town
I'm having the same experience with my wife and Carcassonne! My wife is also a non-gamer. I’ve been trying to get her playing board games, but Monopoly just screwed up all hopes I had up to now. (Kids should never play Monopoly, it scares them for life!)
After much uhm-and-aahing I decided to pick up a copy of Carcassonne on Tuesday afternoon and we played our 1st game last night. My wife loves it. She came back from work today and asked if we can play it again.
I so happy that she is finally interested in the games that even getting my butt kicked is of no consequence.
That truly is a great story. I wish I could get my girlfriend into Carcassone, but a lot of the enjoyment is determined by the people in the playgroup.
My dad is an analyst and although there might be some fairly quick turns, even the obvious turns sometimes can seem like an eternity as every tile pulled has to be placed in every possible position on the board with every possible orientation of the tile, and every worker that may be placed there (should I take the road, city piece, or farmer?). This is especially true about 2/3 of the way through the game when farmers really come into play, because now every tile can be placed on the fringes somewhere and then he has to think of what possible tile *might* he pull later that will connect this fringe farm to the "main" farm which connects most of the cities.
I played a game last night with my dad and a friend of mine, who had only played the 2-player game (the city? been awhile so I forget) before. We explained the rules, and I opened the Count expansion I bought for $5 a few months ago and we decided to incorporate that into the game.
The game was over in 2.5 hours, but it felt like 5 hours for me. I had maybe 2-3 tiles I had to really think about with farmers but other than that almost every tile I took a quick look at, tossed it down and did my thing. I enjoy playing the game, but I cannot stand the analysis paralysis this game brings. I went 5 minutes sometimes between picking tiles. That is a BORING 5 minutes.
A family game, however, like you had, probably is much, much better. Sure everyone wants to win, but I am sure the turns went fairly smoothly and everyone was helping each other out recommending (or influencing) each other where to place a tile etc. I would much prefer a game like that which moves along and is fun than the one I played which drawn-out and boring.
Needless to say, for all his analysis my dad came in last place, and my friend who never played before came in first. What a shock
i just had a similar thing...i picked up carcassonne + inns and cathedrals to take to my parents to try and get them to play something other than scrabble. my girlfriend is not a gamer..her brothers were heavy into warhammer 40k, so that gave her a poor view of it(all the time painting and away from family). but i managed to con her into trying out a game or carcassone, so i could "remember" the rules again. ended up playing three games that night and three more the next. and of course, she's winning the series 5-1 despite my best efforts.