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Subject: Tilting at Windmills... and Grumpy Seniors: Playing with the In-Laws rss

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Now, I know very well that my mom-in-law is generally mistrustful of my crazy, new generation board, and even card, games that are themed, and don't have the decency to use any of the good old Bicycle decks, of which there are several, after all. Nonetheless, I am still drunk on my victory with the Lost Cities Christmas present, which was a major success, so sometimes I try to bring something that's just a little bit themed, just in case. Today, the Man from La Mancha was called onto the carpet.

The rules for playing the game were easy enough to explain, though I had to repeat myself a lot. The nice thing is that there's no time constraint with this game, so we could stop and clear up any questions without stress. Still, I could feel the rumbling beneath the earth as my mom-in-law, a retired statistician, realized she was going to be forced to lay tiles that would create ugly, messy dead ends, and I felt the fidgeting and polite displeasure of her very courtly, but traditional partner, who would never criticize a game I brought, but didn't have to. Still, we soldiered on.

Our first game actually wasn't too bad, though they didn't know it, because the castles got put out in pretty good places. We were all able to get some scoring from castles and knights, which is by no means always the case. I was overjoyed to see that I could connect my two castles and a string of a ton of knights, so that I scored both castles all three rounds, I think, and got the knight bonus all three rounds. Crazy luck. And here they were, appreciating none of it!

Our second game was a train wreck. The castles were in corners, we all just got the wrong tiles at the wrong times... The scores were mostly really low. I did a bit better, because I've already put in a lot of plays with this, for the challenge, but my mom-in-law got 16 on that second game, and she was most displeased indeed. (She's just the tiniest bit competitive.)

I'm fairly certain I'll not be tucking this particular box back into the game bag next time we go to the In-Laws'. I'm pretty sure they won't mind. This was my first time playing with other people, and while I liked some level of interaction, I think in future I'll stick with solo or 2-player with The Husband. Much more relaxing for little Sancha Pansa that way!
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