My wife and I have slowly been indoctrinating our families into German Style games. For the most part, we have been quite successful. Since most of them live nearby, we've instituted a Monday gaming night for family and friends. This was our first gathering.
The players: Stephen (Myself), Christine, (longsuffering wife), Heather (Sister-in-law), and Dwight (old college pal).
First Game: Coloretto
As usual, Dwight is late, so the three of us don't want to get too involved. I choose Coloretto because it is quick, simple, a card game (both a plus for Heather, who is still not sure about this game stuff), and has room for some strategy. My four-year-old, Grace, joins us since she has played before -- "I'll teach you Aunt Heather"
We all pull our colors. Heather thinks Grace is going to be a pushover because she loves orange so much (her choice). I try to warn her this is not the case. I pull brown because it is the closest thing to purple not a on a wild -- which makes no sense to me. How come you have purple on the Wild card, but no purple cards? I digress.
I manage to make good runs in both yellow and brown, having to fight Christine off some of the yellows (her color of choice). Due to judicious playing, I only got one each in three other colors. Everyone else had a whole host of colors. Grace had been quietly building some nice suits in Green and Pink.
Stephen -- 39
Grace -- 32
Heather -- 22
Christine -- 18
Heather really enjoyed this a lot, as did we all. Grace enjoyed getting to whip up on some of the adults. Gametime, about 30 minutes.
Second Game: Atlantic Star
Still no Dwight. However, Atlantic Star is a favorite of Dwight, Christine, and myself. We start teaching the rules to Heather while waiting for Dwight. He arrives right about the time we finish up, so we are able to jump right in. Grace sits in Heather's lap and controls her money.
This ranks as one of the more unusual games of Atlantic star I've ever played. The 9 and 7 ships did not come out for a loooong time. Most everyone had finished there first package before we started seeing them. Heather and I ended up with moderately high Mediterraneam cruises while Christine ended up with a moderate Atlantic. Dwight managed an Atlantic for 15. Can we say loan fodder.
Well, it went to Dwight's advantage as he took us all to school wiping the board and ALWAYS getting a card he needed. It was unreal. Meanwhile, Grace is always wanting to spend as much of Heather's money as possible -- even on the free ships. This does not bode well for her impoverished parents.
In the end, Dwight took top honors in each of the other three cruises. It really wasn't pretty.
Dwight -- 52
Christine -- 37
Stephen -- 37
Heather -- 36
This is the worst I have ever done in this game. It was just really odd. This is the only time in this game where the luck of the draw really affected the game. Still one of my favorites that I see myself playing for a long time to come. Gametime was a little more than 1 hour.
Third Game: Elfenland
This was at the request of Dwight. We first played this back in March and it ended badly. However, I really enjoyed the connection aspect of the game. And Christine told me she wanted us to get a copy. How's that for wonderful? Having your wife ask you to buy a game you are already planning on buying!
It took us a little while to get this set up and explain the rules to Heather. She still didn't get a good grasp on the tile placement and the card use for movement until the end of her first turn.
"Does this have anything to do with Lord of the Rings"
"Well, doesn't it have elves in it"
At any rate, Christine, Dwight, and myself start off pretty good, ending our first turn with 6 cylinders each. Heather ends with about 4. Then we start the second turn. Dwight wants to go to that city in the mountatins with only one road in, so I immediately obstacle him. I expect retaliation, but he waits untils I have played everything and blocks my first road. Ouch! I still manage to get 5. Dwight gets about 3 and Christine gets 7 or 8, placing her firmly in the lead.
We survive the next round without too much angst with each other. Heather unintentionally blocks Dwight's movement with a cloud she is going to use and then finds she doesn't have a cloud and has to caravan. One of the pieces I need also ends up blocking Christines. At the end of this round Christine and I are tied at 16 with Dwight and Heather 12 and 11.
In the final round, it seems no one had what they needed, and we all needed to move in the desert. I had four dragon cards, but no dragon chips. My wife had dragon chips, but no cards. Christine blocked Heather's movement into the one road mountain town with a pig rider Heather couldn't use, so Heather obstacled one of the clouds she needed near the end of her route. Christine then obstacled a route that Dwight had laid and I was going to use. I still managed to get 3 of my last 4 since they were all close together and I was able to caravan. Christine could only get 2 of her four. Dwight and Heather each managed four.
Stephen -- 19
Christine -- 18
Dwight -- 16
Heather -- 15
Another game enjoyed by all. However, Heather did get a little annoyed at some of the downtime when people were contemplating moves. Fortunately, there was not nearly as much of this as seems to be the case in this game. The game clocked in right at 90 minutes.