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Subject: The Reluctant Wife- First Time rss

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Stuart Perry
United States
Encinitas
California
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I finally convinced my wife to try out Blue Moon. When I first bough it, over a year ago, I made the mistake of ordering the Mimix along with the base set. I think her first and lasting impression of the game was based upon the cards with scantily clad women. I thought I would never get her past that. I should also point out that she is not really a gamer, and has thankfully agreed to try out many games with me. Ah, the lament of a wannabe gamer with no game group....other than her.

I had spent last Christmas playing Blue Moon with my brother, and had thoroughly enjoyed it. I also brought four expansion decks (Flit, Mimix, Terrah, and Aqua) and we spent quite a bit of time trying each out just to get a feel for how they played. I hoped my wife would have the same experience, but I didn’t have a lot of hope. We started later than I had wanted, and I knew her well enough to know she’d start waning after about 30 minutes, so I wanted to at least get a single game in, and fast.

The first game was an introductory round, where I explained the rules, and we played with our hands face up. We also ignored icons until later fights, so she could get the basic mechanism and how things shaped out. She was using the Vulca (at my request- since I find it the easiest to learn) and I had the Hoax. By the end, she had a single dragon on her side. Let me stress here how important it is to have first-time games come out very close.

If there’s one thing I know, she doesn’t mince words, and I expected a ho-hum response, thank you and goodnight. Hmmm. She liked it better than either of us had predicted. “Let’s play again, the right way.” I was pleasantly suprised. For the second game we used the same decks as in the first round (Sarah-Vulca; me-Hoax). It started off well enough. Slowly increasing fire powers, until I was able to stop her support cards and played a combined 7 fire between my own character and support cards. Two dragons came my way. During the next fight, which she started in the earth power, I played the leadership card that allowed my to draw five additional cards into my hand. She never recovered, but refused to retreat, so when the dust cleared I had attracted two more dragons. Game over.

Now it’s late. And we have work tomorrow. “One more game,” she says, “and this time I get the Hoax.” What? Is she really liking it that much? Or is it now a vendetta? She starts a fight in fire that startles me. We go back and forth, and she sustains a consistent attack with high fire cards she must have obtained early, and I counter each. Then BAM! Out comes the mutant that suddenly changes the fight to earth. Worse, I am out of character cards. Two dragons go her way. She finished me off with the same move I had pulled on her. Five cards into her hand, and I again run out of character cards. Two more dragons her way, and I am toast.

At the end of the night, I think I have her hooked. On the game that is. Once past the character cards, and their names and artwork, I think she is interested in the game and the interaction between the cards. She put together some combos that I had not used or even seen before (not that I have THAT many games under my belt), and by the end of the third game she really got it. This surprises me for several reasons: (i) when we play games she is usually kind of passive, and never seems to fully get into thinking (or caring) about the mechanics, (this has nothing to do with smarts as she is brilliant at math and abstract spatial relationships), (ii) her initial response to this game made me think this first experience with it would be quick, and more to placate me, and (iii) I thought she would never get past the artwork issues.

Ok- we shall see if the next time I ask to play this game, she agrees. Or if the next time a gaming opportunity comes up, she suggests this one. As a guy who buys mainly 2-player games so that I can get her to play, this initially looks like a success. Maybe this gives hope to other guys who want to get their wives/gfs to play Blue Moon, but the artwork (that appears to be targeted to teenage boys) is an initial turnoff. I am certainly hopeful about the future of this game at our house.
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Alexander B.
United States
Austin
Texas
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I have been recommending Blue Moon to couple friends of mine lately.

The game is a nice combination of artwork, flavor (the plastic dragons are too cool), light strategy, and luck.

It plays quickly and the rules are quite simple in most cases. All of these combine to make it a great game for "non-gamers".

As for women who are apparently non-gamers being surprisingly good, I've exerpienced this many times. I once had a girlfriend who was a hairdresser and very far from what one would label an intellectual by any definition.

I remember playing Gin with her a few times and, after her first 3-4 games to get the feel for it, was playing much better than I was after serveral hundred games. She was 90% as good as I was within about 15 games!

Her secret was to watch exactly how I played and use all of my technique against me. She learned amazingly fast and had no "ego" to get in the way of her just stealing my entire method of play. Her ability to remember discards was amazing also: it came naturally to her.

This was all so good for me to see as it taught me a lot about intelligence and the unintelligent assumption I had about it.

Yet another example of how gaming can bring people closer

As for Blue Moon, kudos on your new-found foe! Enjoy!!

 
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Ruwen Bussinger
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Hi Stuart, i really liked your report.

I bought Blue Moon some days ago for the very same reason you mentioned: to have something i can play with my girlfriend who doesn't share my passion for boardgames.

In addition to the base game i ordered the Mimix and the Aqua because i liked the artworks (i think the Mimik artworks are really nice although i'm already in the mid-20s ) and also liked what i read about their play style.

Now i'm looking forward to the next spare time that i can spend with my girlfriend. As a result of your report i will leave the Mimix and the Aqua in the cupboard and play only with the base game.

Maybe you could leave a comment on the lasting appeal of the game on your girlfriend?

Greetings
 
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Stuart Perry
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Encinitas
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Thanks. Our game time has diminished quite a bit of late, so I can't really speak to the "lasting appeal." However, when we talk about potentially playing a game or two, this one is in the list of candidates, meaning she liked it enough to be willing to try it again. I think we have logged a few more games, but it has been a while. This is progress, because there are several games that she said upon completion "I don't think I'll ever play that one again." Colossal Arena and Torres being perfect examples.
 
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